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February 4, 2010

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Death toll in bus rampage now 10

ONE more person died yesterday after a bus rampage in Tianjin City, bringing the death toll to 10.

Monday's incident killed nine people and injured 11 at the scene, The Beijing News reported yesterday.

Liu Changsheng, the son of one of the victims, said they would be seeking compensations though plans were not yet determined.

The driver at the center of the incident is said to have been mentally unstable.

Zhang Yiyuan, his brother, said Zhang Yimin, the driver now under detention, had been depressed and behaving oddly for several weeks.

He believed his brother was hallucinating when he went to a police station the night before the tragedy claiming his wife and daughter had been abducted. Police found no one in the building where Zhang Yimin said the kidnappers were hiding, according to the newspaper report.

After the driver failed to get the case accepted, he became more unstable, his brother said.

The 40-year-old driver was taken into custody by police after he left hospital with just a few stitches.

Zhang Yimin had driven off in the bus after he had stabbed a co-worker with a dagger following a quarrel at the Tianbao Transportation Co on Monday, said a spokesman for the city government.

He killed nine people and injured 11 when he plowed the bus into pedestrians and cyclists while being followed by police vehicles.

Four of the injured were police officers who tried to intercept the bus.

At least two injured victims were hit by a police vehicle following Zhang's bus, according to an unnamed witness quoted by the newspaper. A police vehicle ran a red light and crashed into Jiang Xuezeng and Ma Long's car. Both Jiang and Ma were seriously hurt.

The government did not say why Zhang had attacked the co-worker.

Zhang was captured by police more than two hours after he drove the bus from the station.

An unnamed police officer said Zhang could have been stopped by barricades rather than by being pursued which might have led to Zhang driving more dangerously.

Local police refused to comment, the report said.


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