Bus plunges into Chinese river after fight between driver and passenger

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People watch the bus wreck being raised out of water in Wanzhou in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality early Thursday.

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 October 28, local police said at a news briefing on Friday.

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. This made the woman angry, so she advanced to the front of the bus and began yelling at him.

Dashcam footage from an oncoming vehicle shows the bus veering off its lane, colliding with a auto and smashing through a bridge guardrail before plunging into the river.

He refused, and she went on to hit his head with her mobile phone, prompting the driver to strike her back.

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The bus was travelling at a speed of 51 kmph (31 mph) at the time of the accident, police said, adding that the investigation has ruled out any mechanical failure as a cause of the accident.

13 people were confirmed killed in the incident, while two are still missing.

Reports in the local media cited by EuroNews say that the woman missed her bus stop and, when she realized it, immediately asked the driver to pull over so she could get off. The driver took his right arm off the steering wheel and fought back.

More than 70 rescue boats came to the scene, including three floating cranes with a total capacity of 125 tonnes.

A Wanzhou police statement said the driver and the passenger broke the law with their actions because they seriously endangered public safety.