The life of a bus driver is one that still remains fairly unknown, or unnoticed, rather. There aren’t any famous bus drivers, outside of the fictional Ralph Kramden played by Jackie Gleason in The Honeymooners. The job requires long hours, low pay, and a monotonous daily routine is one that might not sit particularly well with an easily disgruntled person.
One disgruntled bus driver in Weihai, China had simply had enough. And he was going to punish people for it.
Last month, 13 people were killed when their bus got into an accident and caught fire inside a tunnel. Six Chinese and five South Korean children, aged 3 through 6, were killed along with the driver and their teacher, according to a statement by the government of the city of Weihai.
According to police, the driver had been angered over a payment dispute. His overtime bonus and night shift pay had apparently been halted. Before the bus trip, he bought gasoline which he ignited while the bus traveled through the tunnel at 9 a.m. The children were on their way to a local Korean International School.
Investigators determined that the fire had started by the driver’s seat, where a cap to a cigarette lighter and gasoline residue were found. Ruling out a traffic accident or electrical short circuit, it became clear to police that the fire was intentionally lit by the driver.
One has to wonder why innocent schoolchildren were the target of this man’s anger. Payment disputes are not unheard of, but to take that anger to a homicidal level is practically the definition of irrational.
A vice-governor of the Shandong province, where Weihai is located, was appointed to lead an investigation into the accident for a more thorough understanding of what happened and why.
One thing’s for certain: if you’re going to halt someone’s payment, make sure they’re not a homicidal maniac charged with the safety of children.