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Official: Mass Incident Calmed in Central China
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Local authorities said Tuesday they had calmed a mass incident in central China's Hunan Province that started when some villagers became upset over higher bus fares and destroyed buses.


The situation in the town has been normalized and no casualties were reported.


Villagers from the town of Zhushan on the outskirts of Lingling District in Yongzhou intercepted a bus last Friday, demanding a discount on a new bus fare, a spokesman with the Lingling district government told Xinhua.


Anda Corporation, the operator of the bus, instituted the fare change on Monday after receiving a government order, he said.


Some villagers who were still dissatisfied continued to overtake the bus, and a few began to destroy and burn buses.


Several villagers gathered outside the Zhushan police station and threw stones at police officers, the spokesman said, adding that police detained those who led the destruction while trying to prevent further damage.


The Hunan Provincial government and the city government of Yongzhou have sent officials to help settle the incident.


They have ordered Anda Corporation to halt operation until management problems are reconciled and arranged more than 10 buses to ensure smooth traffic and safety of local residents and students, the spokesman said.


The company is now under further investigation.


(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2007)

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