The driver's possible suicide attempt may have caused the fatal bus accident that killed 29 people in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Sunday, local police said.
The death toll was formerly put at 30 due to wrong reports from rescuers, local government sources said. Police has confirmed the death toll to be 29.
On-the-spot investigations indicated that the driver had intentionally attempted suicide, said police, without further elaboration.
The accident occurred at around 2:00 Sunday afternoon, when a fully loaded commuter bus heading for Jiangbei district was approaching the on-ramp to the Shimen Bridge which connects the areas of Jiangbei and Shapingba in downtown Chongqing.
The bus, which services route 711, ploughed through a bridge guardrail and plunged 30 meters to the dry banks of the Jialing River, a main tributary of the Yangtze River.
Twenty-nine people were killed and 21 others injured, including 11 who were seriously injured. All the injured were being treated in hospital.
The bus belongs to Limin Taxi Co., Ltd. of the Chongqing Municipal Highway Transportation Group, according to police.
An injured passenger said the bus was overcrowded as passengers from another bus that had broken down were picked up by the ill-fated bus.
Identities of the dead have not yet been released.
The Shapingba area, where the accident occurred, is home to a number of colleges, including Chongqing University, Sichuan Foreign Languages College and Southwest China University of Political Science and Law.
The municipal government has established a task force to investigate the accident. The municipal government also issued an emergency notice, calling on government and transportation departments to draw lessons from the accident and take effective measures to straighten up transportation services to prevent possible traffic accidents.
(Xinhua News Agency October 2, 2006)