Fist fight led to bus plunging into China river, police say

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A woman who attacked a bus driver after missing her stop caused a bus to plunge into the river, killing all 15 passengers on board, Chinese authorities have said.

Fifteen people had been on the bus, including the driver.

Originally, witnesses reported seeing the bus swerve to avoid another vehicle but distressing new footage has emerged showing the real cause of the accident: a fist fight between an irate passenger and the driver.

The driver then suddenly yanks the wheel hard to the left and the bus veers onto incoming traffic, striking a vehicle before breaking through the rails of the bridge crossing the Yangtze River, in the southwest city of Chongqing.

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Police in China released dashcam footage of the fatal bus crash.

Based on the black box recording device from the bus and other evidence, a female passenger surnamed Liu, 48, missed her stop and asked the driver surnamed Ran, 43, to stop immediately, Chongqing police said on Friday morning (Nov 2).

The bus was lifted out of the water on Wednesday night.

When she struck him again, he abruptly turned the steering wheel left, swerving into oncoming traffic before crashing into the railings on the side of a bridge - screaming can be heard as the video stops. A few seconds into the video, a woman is hitting the bus driver on his head with a phone. The bodies of 13 people were recovered; two remain missing.

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The driver then took his right arm off the steering wheel as he tried to defend himself.

The driver then lost control of the bus. The bus was also found to have no mechanical issues.

"The behaviour of both the passenger and driver has severely endangered the safety of all other passengers and has violated the law, ' police said, adding the tragedy served as an 'extremely painful lesson".

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