Bus driver fell into coma from smoke inhalation before crash

Taipei: The driver of the bus that caught fire and left 26 people dead in Taiwan might have gone into a coma after inhaling poisonous smoke, said prosecutors in Taoyuan district.

According to local media reports, the post-mortem showed that the driver’s respiratory tract was burnt and choked, a sign that he possibly inhaled high temperature smoke, prosecutors said.

They said the driver was possibly poisoned by carbon monoxide and fell into a coma and lost control.

Some eyewitnesses have claimed that the bus kept going for 1km after catching fire and the driver did not open the emergency exits in time. They said he should have survived since the emergency exit was near his seat.

Prosecutors have sent samples of the driver’s remains to forensic experts to find if he had poor health or was on alcohol or drugs.

The fire began from the front part of the vehicle, and prosecutors found that the wires got mixed up at some point, possibly due to overload.

Some have speculated that the short circuit was caused by the water dispenser and karaoke equipment near the driver’s seat. — China Daily / Asia News Network

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