A heated quarrel between a bus driver and a passenger was to blame for the tragic crash which killed more than a dozen in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on Oct. 28, local police said at a news briefing on Friday.
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’ onboard 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.