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May 18, 2010

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Dead cabbie's passengers held

HUANGPU District police said yesterday that they have found the taxi passengers, a man and a woman, who were involved in an altercation with a cabbie before he collapsed and died on Sunday afternoon.

The driver, surnamed Xu, was found dead by emergency workers at a busy intersection at People's Square.

Police said they found no apparent injuries on the driver, but are waiting for the autopsy result.

"So far it remains unclear whether the driver had an unknown condition that can explain his death," a police spokesman said yesterday.

The passengers, surnamed Huang and Gu, now in custody, were found about 1am yesterday in Jiading District.

Officers said they received a call at 2pm on Sunday, saying a man was lying on the ground near the intersection of Nanjing Road W. and Xizhang Road M.

He was pronounced dead after emergency staff arrived, police said.

Witnesses said the driver was arguing with his passengers, who looked to be a couple in their 40s, and pursued them in the cab when they left the taxi.

One witness said the passengers refused to pay the 20-yuan (US$2.90) fare.

Witnesses said both sides were pushing each other during the altercation. As the argument escalated, the driver was hit above the eye.

Minutes later the driver fell to the ground unconscious and the couple fled.


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