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December 24, 2009

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Award for hurt bus rider

A LOCAL bus company has been ordered to pay more than 120,000 yuan (US$17,570) in compensation to a 60-year-old passenger who was badly injured when the crowd rushed off the bus after a leak of liquid nitrogen carried by a passenger, judges said yesterday.

Xuhui District People's Court ruled that the bus company should bear liability because it failed to transport the plaintiff to the destination safely.

On the afternoon of October 31, 2008, the plaintiff Shen Huigen took a No. 43 bus to the Xujiahui area. A passenger surnamed Zhu got on the bus on the Fenglin Road station with two thermos bottles. Inside were 10 liters of liquid nitrogen that his employer had told him to buy.

The bottles, which were put near the back door of the bus, were kicked over by a passenger. The liquid nitrogen leaked. It caused panic because liquid nitrogen can cause frostbite and suffocate people.

Shen was pushed out of the bus by the passengers rushing out and fell, his head hitting the ground. He was diagnosed with serious brain injury and facial paralysis.

Zhu was detained for 10 days after the accident. Because his behavior didn't hurt Shen directly, Shen sued Shenxin Bus Co Ltd, which manages the bus route, seeking more than 130,000 yuan in compensation for medical costs and disability.

Shen said a transport contract had been formed between him and the bus company after he bought the ticket. When the company failed to transport him safely and its response to the accident caused injury to him, the company should bear the responsibility.


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