Fight between driver and woman passenger causes bus to plunge into China River, killing at least 13 people

Beijing: A fist fight between a woman passenger and a driver caused a bus to plunge from a bridge into the mighty Yangtze River in southwest China, killing at least 13 people, police said on Friday. The bus plunged 50 metres off the bridge into the Yangtze, China’s longest river, in Chongqing city on Sunday.

A total of 13 bodies have been retrieved from the river in Chongqing Municipality, in Wanzhou District, and have all been identified. Two passengers remain missing, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. The investigation showed that a 48-year-old woman passenger, surnamed Liu, planned to get off at a certain stop. The 42-year-old driver, surnamed Ran, told her to get off at an earlier stop. However, Liu did not get off and later asked the driver to stop the bus when she realised she missed her destination.

The driver refused as there was no bus stop in view, and an argument broke out, soon led to a fist fight. The driver’s right hand came off the steering wheel during the altercation, which led to the steering wheel turning sharply to the left, the report said. The bus then lost control and veered onto the wrong side of the road and collided into an oncoming car before breaking through fencing and flying off a bridge over the river.

About 6,380 kilometres long, the mighty Yangtze River is the largest and longest river in China, in Asia and the third-longest in the world. Four passengers, who got off earlier, confirmed that a medium-height woman had quarrelled with the driver because she missed her stop, local police said. Rescuers on Wednesday night pulled the bus from the river.

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