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Bus crash hero is school teacher

A PRIMARY school teacher is the hero who saved the lives of dozens of bus passengers during a fatal traffic accident on Sunday night.

The accident killed three people, including the bus driver, and injured 27.

Chen Wei, 35, a physical education teacher with Hangzhou Road No.1 Primary School was one of the passengers aboard a Bridge Route No. 3 bus from Bashi Yiqi Co, today's Xinmin Evening News reported. He rushed to the front and eventually managed to work the brakes after the driver had been thrown through the window and the bus was gathering speed on the Yangpu Bridge.

The accident occurred about 9.30pm when the bus first struck the rear of a semi-trailer and veered into the oncoming lane, where it hit a taxi, police said. It then zigzagged wildly, slamming into other vehicles before it was brought to a stop by Chen.

After the impact of the first collision, all the lights in the bus went out and the passengers panicked, Chen said.

He shouted "get down!" to the passengers so they would brace themselves.

He saw the bus was zigzagging into the oncoming lane at about 50 kilometers an hour without a driver.

Chen asked the passengers if anyone could stop the bus and a man in white responded and tried to approach the front but was thrown back.

Chen managed to reach the driver's seat himself and tried turning the steering wheel but there was no response.

He tried stepping on the brake but there was a blockage under the pedal. He removed the blockage and stepped on the pedal again and this time the bus came to a halt.

But Chen kept his foot firmly on the brake for another 15 minutes until all the other passengers aboard were evacuated from the bus and firefighters and police had arrived and stabilized the vehicle to prevent it from sliding further.

Chen said he knew he had to step on the brake to stop the bus as he had watched bus drivers doing this. He was learning to drive.

It was nearly midnight when he finally reached home. It was then he found his right leg had been cut by shattered glass and his left arm was bruised.


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