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Bus driver's death sparks heated discussion online

By Zhang Yan | | Updated: 2013-02-26 22:16

Traffic police in Shanxi province said that a driver believed to have frozen to death actually died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The driver's family has blamed his death on the traffic police's "inhuman" law enforcement, which prompted a heated online discussion on Tuesday.

The driver, Chen Haibo, was found dead on Feb 21 in the coach that he used to transport tourists from Hebei province to Yangquan city in Shanxi province.

Shanxi traffic police said on Tuesday that when they found the coach, Chen was unconscious, a stove on the bus had been left on.

"Despite rescue efforts, the driver died of carbon monoxide poisoning. We will publish more details after making autopsy," police said.

But Chen Shunpan, the victim's sun, was suspicious of the police explanation.

The road traffic management regulation in Shanxi ruled that coaches from outside Shanxi that have seven or more seats are forbidden to drive onto the freeways in Shanxi between 8 pm and 6 am the next day.

Chen said that the coach driven by his father arrived at Jiuguan toll station in Shanxi at 9:30 pm on Feb 20. Although the bus was only a few kilometers from its destination, it was not allowed to pass.

Chen said his father begged the traffic police to let the bus pass.

"Considering the cold weather and passengers' security, we asked the police many times to let us pass or return to the service area for rest, but they refused, and forced us to stop it at the side road until next morning," Chen Shunpan said.

"Most passengers on the coach were born in the South China and weren't accustomed to the cold in the north. So I let others leave the freeway and found a hotel to stay. My father stayed on the bus to watch the vehicle and devices," he said.

When Chen returned to the toll station the next morning, his father had already died.

"When I left, I didn't see the burning stove. My father must have been unable to stand the coldness, so he looked for an old burning stove to keep himself warm," he said.

The Shanxi provincial public security department said it has set up a team to investigate the case.

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