A bus driver in east China was beaten unconscious by an angry passenger for allowing a pregnant woman to exit through the front door of his vehicle, according to a local media report.
The unnamed assailant was waiting at a bus stop in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, on Thursday when the woman got off and was apparently annoyed at the breach of protocol, Jiangsu TV reported. Bus passengers in China typically disembark from the doors at the centre of the vehicle.
"It's more difficult for pregnant women to move, so I let her leave from the front of the bus," the 31-year-old driver, surnamed Lu, said.
"But he (the attacker) really had something to say about it. (He) said, 'the rules of the bus are enter from the front, leave from the back. Why are you letting her exit from the front?'"
The disgruntled passenger, who was travelling with his wife, took a seat but moments later ran to the front of the bus and began hitting Lu on the head.
Video footage from an on-board security camera showed Lu was struck 32 times, though he still managed to bring the vehicle to a safe stop before passing out.
When the bus had stopped a number of passengers surrounded the assailant, preventing him from fleeing the scene. Police arrived and he was detained.
The incident is now under investigation, the report said.
A witness to the assault was quoted as saying that the attacker was enraged, saying "I'm going to beat you to death today", as he pummelled Lu.
Interviewed in his hospital bed, Lu said he was very puzzled by the man's violent reaction, saying he had "never seen anything like it" in his two years of driving the route.
Violence against bus drivers is not uncommon in China.
In May, a driver in Shanxi province spent nine days in hospital after being smashed over the head with a watermelon by a man who was enraged that the vehicle did not stop for him. The assailant took a taxi to race in front of the bus, then jumped on board and launched his attack.
Similarly, in March, a driver in Hunan province required hospital treatment after an elderly man beat him with a cane. The passenger became angry after the driver insisted he show his senior citizen's bus pass.
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