HEFEI, ANHUI - A MAN travelling in a long-distance bus in eastern China caused the death of six passengers after the vehicle veered off the highway when he tried to take over the steering wheel from the driver, the Chinese media reported.
Survivors from the crash, which happened on Friday in Anhui province's Xiao county, told the official Xinhua news agency that the man had earlier molested a woman by cuddling her.
He was punched twice by her husband, who was also on board.
They said some passengers then tried to mediate, after which the man went to the front of the coach and took a seat behind the driver.
A few minutes later, the man stood up and struggled with the driver as he tried to grab hold of the steering wheel.
A passenger surnamed Tian told ahwang.cn, Anhui government's official news website, that he and the relief driver tried to help remove the man's hands from the steering wheel.
But in the scuffle, the man caused the bus to swerve to the right side of the highway.
As a result, the bus, which was carrying 37 people, ran over a railing and into a ditch, where it overturned.
Five people were critically injured.
Reporters observed that the bus was severely damaged at the front end while broken glass and luggage were scattered all over the ground.
"The man fell into the river. But when he got out, he wanted to beat up the driver," said Mr Tian.
According to Xinhua, the 45-year-old man, surnamed Wen, was arrested when police arrived.
The 44-year-old woman said to have been molested was killed in the crash while her husband, also 44, was hospitalised, said Xinhua.
The bus left Shandong province on Thursday and was travelling to Henan.
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