WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: A bus driver’s death after suffering a heart attack behind the wheel has caused outrage in China after his employer said it could not be classified as a workplace injury.
The male driver, identified as Mr Chen, was behind the wheel on Monday (local time) in the county of Fuqing in Fujian province when he began crouching over in his seat in discomfort.
Surveillance footage from inside the bus shows the driver in obvious distress as he beats his chest.
Yet despite his pain, he manages to navigate the bus to safe stopping position, ensuring the safety of his passengers.
He gets out of the driver’s cabin and exits the vehicle before falling on the floor as several passengers rush to his aid.
He later died from the heart attack.
Mr Chen was praised online for managing to safely pull over, however his company has deemed his death not a work injury, offering just 100,000 yuan ($20,000) as a goodwill gesture to his family.
Mr Chen’s brother said all drivers at the company had been asked to sign social security waivers, forfeiting their right to insurance cover for work-related injuries in return for a monthly subsidy, Feidian Video reported.
The company’s stance has since prompted widespread anger online, with many users on Twitter-like site Weibo criticising the company.
“No humanity,” one person said.
“The driver died of an illness while working, and he also protected the safety of passengers and the company’s property, all for 100,000 yuan?” another said.
News of the company’s response has been viewed more than 70 million times on the site.
Mr Chen’s actions have been praised as heroic by multiple Chinese news outlets.
Legal experts say it is a legal obligation for employers to pay for social security and that a waiver will prove redundant if taken to court.
Mr Chen’s family continue to negotiate with the bus company.
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