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Video: 15 die when bus plunges off bridge into river after passenger and driver fight

by Holly Hofstead - The Oregon Herald Friday November 2, 2018    7:44 AM

BEIJING -- A fight between a passenger and a bus driver ended tragically when the bus plunged off a bridge in southwestern China Sunday. All 15 people on board were killed.

This eight-second surveillance video shows the bus driver and a passenger arguing and slapping at each other just before the bus suddenly veered across oncoming traffic and off the bridge Sunday morning.

A 48-year-old female passenger on the bus asked the driver to pull over after she missed her stop, but the driver refused. She then walked to the driver's seat and scolded him. The driver turned his head back several times arguing.

The Chongqing police also posted dashcam video from a nearby car showing the bus colliding with an oncoming vehicle before smashing through a guardrail and falling into the Yangtze, a major river in southwestern China. At the last instant, the bus driver apparently attempted to miss the oncoming car and veered sharply to the left, and over the bridge railing.

Rescuers recovered the wreck of the bus Wednesday night. The official Xinhua News Agency said Friday that 13 bodies had been retrieved from the river and two others were still missing but presumed dead. No one is believed to have survived.

The Reuters news agency cites state radio as quoting rescuers saying the bus wound up some 262 feet underwater.

The heated quarrel between the bus driver and the woman passenger was to blame for the tragic crash which killed more than a dozen in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Oct. 28.

Authorities confirmed that at least 13 people have been killed after the bus veered onto the wrong side of the road and collided with an oncoming car before smashing through roadside barriers and flying off a bridge in Chongqing's Wanzhou District last Sunday.

Newly-released footage from the bus' on-board surveillance camera shows how a passenger appeared to lash out at the driver who in turn retaliated, seconds before the bus crashed and plunged into the Yangtze River.

According to police investigations, the 48-year-old female passenger surnamed Liu had missed her stop, and asked the driver to stop on the road. After the driver, surnamed Ran, refused to halt the bus, Liu then became enraged and struck Ran with her cell phone before the driver lost control of the vehicle.

Police believe that both Ran and Liu are responsible for the deadly incident since their physical altercation posed a serious threat to public security, violated China's criminal law, and both are being held accountable for causing the tragedy.

A previous investigation found that 15 people including the driver were on board the bus at the time. A total of 13 bodies were retrieved and identified by Thursday, while two others remain missing. The driver of the car which was hit by the bus was said to have sustained some injuries.

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