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July 7, 2011

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Bus driver stabbed because of loud TV

A MAN stabbed a bus driver after he had complained that the TV was too loud and demanded his 2 yuan fare back, police said yesterday.

The incident happened when the No. 909 bus reached its terminus in Shanghai's Xuhui District.

The middle-aged driver, who was stabbed in the neck, is in intensive care after surgery. Doctors said he was in a stable condition.

Police said the suspect, surnamed Lin, was caught and a flick knife recovered.

When the bus pulled up at the terminus on Qinzhou Road S. at about 10:50am, the 41-year-old suspect asked for his money back as the TV had been too loud during the trip, police said.

They said Lin then pulled out a knife and stabbed the driver in the neck after the request was declined.

The bus driver, Xu Yuanlin, struggled to the bus dispatch room, about 30 meters away, calling for help.

"I'll never forget the horrible scene," said one of Xu's colleagues, his hands still shaking hours after the incident. "Xu struggled all the way, his clothes soaking with blood."

Witnesses said the attacker had been chasing after the driver until colleagues at the stop rushed out and he ran off.

Some drivers followed the attacker and were able to lead police to the man who had tried to hide in the nearby greenery area.

Police said their investigations were still ongoing but said there was the possibility that the suspect may have a history of mental problems.

Bus services soon resumed but part of the road was cordoned off.

"He is a very nice guy," said the driver's coworkers. "He always seemed to be in a good mood."

The attack was the second on the same route within a week, and the latest in a series of attacks on city bus drivers.

Shanghai police detained a man who hijacked a No. 909 bus with a hammer on July 2.

A passenger on the bus in Xincun Road suddenly grabbed the emergency hammer in the vehicle and threatened the driver with it, telling him to stop the bus.

The driver immediately braked and let passengers off.

Police managed to seize the man and the driver was not hurt.

Shanghai Bashi Group, the city bus operator, said yesterday it would beef up security checks on buses like the measures used during the World Expo last year.

These measures, such as checking for dangerous items, had been canceled on some routes after the event.

The bus company has also begun installing alarm buttons near the driver since late last month. The alarm system is linked to an emergency control center.

The No. 909 buses had not yet been equipped with the system, the company said.

"But it could still be too late if someone crazy stabs the driver all of a sudden," said an official.


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