People watch the bus wreck being raised out of water in Wanzhou in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality early Thursday.
The authorities said they reached their conclusion after studying more than 2,300 hours of surveillance recordings, 220 dashcam video clips, and interviewed the drivers and passengers of 160 vehicles around the site before and after the incident.
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The driver then suddenly yanks the wheel hard to the left and the bus veers onto incoming traffic, striking a auto before breaking through the rails of the bridge crossing the Yangtze River, in the southwest city of Chongqing.
"The investigation showed that a 48-year-old female passenger, surnamed Liu, planned to get off at a certain stop, but the bus had to make a detour and would not arrive there due to road maintenance", reported China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
China's Ministry of Emergency Management said the local fire service had deployed 50 firefighters, five fire engines and two rescue boats to the scene, according to the South China Morning Post. She walked up to the driver's seat and scolded him.
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The driver took his right arm off the steering wheel and fought back, grabbing the woman's arm when she attacked him again.
During the ensuing fight, the driver lost control and the bus went into the river.
Thirteen bodies have been pulled out of the river, but two remain missing.
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The statement concluded that both the passenger and the driver had broken laws for seriously endangering public safety.