CHINA> Regional
Bus company boss quits after fatal fire
Updated: 2009-06-08 18:39

CHENGDU - The chairman of a bus company in southwest China resigned after a fire inside one of his buses killed 27 people Friday.

Li Shuguang, chairman of the Beixing Bus Company of the Chengdu Public Transport Group Co. and general manager of the group, stepped down from his posts Sunday, according to the information office of the government of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.

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In an interview with Xinhua Monday, Li said, "I hope my resignation will arouse society's attention to the safety of public transport and help make the urban public transport network safer and more convenient."

A preliminary investigation revealed that someone brought gasoline onto the bus. It is unclear if it was lit intentionally or accidentally. Officials are expected to disclose more details at a news conference scheduled for Monday night.

Overcrowding on the bus and the lack of escape windows were part of the reasons why so many people died in the fire.

"The tragedy may reoccur if we do not address the problems," Li said.

A local government official told Xinhua there were "around 104" passengers on the bus when the fire started, however, he said the figure was yet to be verified.

The State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission of Chengdu accepted Li's resignation, said Lai Siguo, a senior executive of the commission.

People held responsible for the fire will be dealt with according to the law and regulations when the official investigation is completed, he added.

The fire occurred during Friday's morning rush hour as the No. 9 bus was on its way from Tianhui Township to downtown Chengdu. It caught fire under a viaduct. Altogether 25 were killed and 76 others were injured Friday.

Two of the injured died in the hospital Sunday, bringing the death toll to 27.

Among the injured, 11 have been discharged from the hospital as of Monday morning.