Driver starts school bus blaze, killing 13

Investigation showed that the driver Cong Weizi was unhappy over a salary decline caused by a suspension of his overtime pay and night pay bonus.

A fatal school bus fire in east China's Shandong Province on May 9 was allegedly set by the bus driver, one of the dead, authorities said Friday.

The fire killed 11 children and two adults. The children were all students of an international school in Weihai City. Of the 11 children, aged between three and six, five were Republic of Korea (ROK) nationals and six Chinese nationals.

Investigation showed that the driver Cong Weizi was unhappy over a salary decline caused by a suspension of his overtime pay and night pay bonus. He bought some gasoline from a gas station and carried it to the vehicle. On May 9, he set fire in the school bus.

According to Weihai authorities, the bus belongs to a travel branch of Weihai Public Transport Group and has been rented by the school as a shuttle. The fire started on the ground behind the driver's seat and a fragment of lighter was found in the residue near the seat. The possibility of a short circuit or crash that caused the fire has been ruled out after the investigation.

The bus burst into flames when it traveled through a tunnel in Weihai on May 9 this year. The 11 children and the driver were killed in fire and a female teacher later died in hospital.


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