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Chinese Bus Plunged Into River After Passenger Assaulted Driver

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

A bus that ran off a bridge in China's southwestern Chongqing city earlier this week, plunging into the Yangtze River and killing at least 15 people apparently occurred when a passenger assaulted the driver, according to newly recovered video taken inside the vehicle.

The footage, distributed by state media, was retrieved from the bus's video recorder.

In the video, a female passenger approaches the driver, hitting him directly in the face with her phone. The driver, with one hand on the wheel, hits back.

"Police said the passenger, identified as a 48-year-old woman with the surname Liu, was angry that the bus had missed her stop," the BBC reports.

The video shows that they exchange more blows before the driver loses control of the bus, strikes a car and careens through the four-lane bridge's railing into the Yangtze.

The bus sank in over 220 feet of water and more than 70 rescue boats were deployed to the scene, according to earlier reports. China's state newspaper, People's Daily, reports 15 people died in the crash.

The bus was pulled out of the Yangtze early Thursday morning as Chongqing residents looked on.

Initial reports suggested the bus swerved to avoid incoming traffic. China's state newspaper, People's Daily, reports police have now say the fight was the cause of the crash.

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