China bus crash that killed 21 an act of 'personal resentment:' police

Ke Jiayun
The driver drank a bottle of spirit before crashing the bus into a reservoir. He died from drowning.
Ke Jiayun

Police in Anshun City of southwestern China's Guizhou Province announced on Sunday night that the bus crash on Tuesday which caused 21 deaths and 15 injuries was an act of "personal resentment" by the driver.

According to police, the bus driver surnamed Zhang, 52, who died in the crash, was a Anshun native living in Xixiu District. He divorced with his wife four years ago and then rent the house of his niece to live with his household registered at his sister's residence.

Investigation shows that Zhang always complained that he was unhappy and unsatisfied with his life.

When he was working for the former Xixiu District Diesel Engine Plant, which is now the Xixiu District Brewing Machinery Factory, he got a public house from the company. He paid the rent to the company.

In 2016, this public house was included in a shantytown renovation program and Zhang signed an agreement with the district's housing bureau for a compensation of 72,542.94 yuan (US$10,363), which he didn't go to get.

Meanwhile, he also applied for the public rental housing but failed.

At about 8:30am on July 7, Zhang went to his public house but found it was about to be demolished.

Eight minutes later, he made a call to the government affair hotline and complained about the dismantlement and his failing to apply for a public rental house.

At 8:50am, Zhang called another bus driver and said he wanted to make his shift a bit earlier. Generally, the drivers change shift at noon.

Zhang returned to his residence at 8:52am and bought some spirit and beverage at a nearly grocery at 9:04am.

He poured the spirit into the beverage bottle, put it into a black plastic bag and carried it to the bus station.

He started his shift at 10:55am at the Anshun East Bus Station and drove a No. 2 Bus from the station on 11:02am.

The bus arrived at its terminal at the railway station at 11:37am and all passengers got off the bus.

Zhang contacted his girlfriend two minutes later and expressed a world-weary feeling.

At 11:47am, he set off from the railway station on the bus.

When he pulled over the bus at a bus stop at 12:09pm, he drank the spirit during the short stay for passengers to get on and off.

At 12:12pm, when the bus was passing the Hongshan Reservoir, he slowed down to avoid colliding with the other vehicles on the street, and then sped up, making a sudden turn and crossing five lanes.

The bus broke the guardrail and fell into the reservoir, killing 21 people and injuring 15. Zhang was one among the deaths.

According to the police, Zhang committed the crime of using dangerous method to endanger the public security.

The autopsy shows that Zhang had no fatal disease and died from drowning.

Alcohol was found in his stomach, blood and urine. The liquid in the beverage bottle left at the scene was also test with alcohol.

The possibilities of using sleeping pill, tranquilizer, antipsychotics or taking drug were all ruled out and during the ride, there was no one disrupting his driving.

No mechanical failure was found on the bus, which was put into use in October last year.

Police denied the online rumors saying Zhang committed suicide because of his daughters' failure in gaokao, China's national college entrance examination, which kicked off on Tuesday. Zhang only had a 25-year-old son with his ex-wife.

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