Beijing teen hot-wires bus

February 23, 2009 5:03:12 AM PST
A 13-year-old boy apparently hot-wired a public bus and took it on a joyride in downtown Beijing and crashed it into a dozen vehicles in a scene witnesses likened to a blockbuster movie, state media reported Monday.

The middle-school student jumped into the driver's seat of city bus No. 404 while it was parked at a terminal, and sped off while the driver was in the bathroom, Xinhua News Agency said. Beijing Public Transport Holdings, which owns the bus, believes the boy started the bus without keys, Xinhua said.

No one was hurt and it was unclear if the boy had been taken into custody.

He zigzagged through Sunday morning traffic in Beijing's eastern Chaoyang district, first hitting a car and a minibus, Xinhua said, citing the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

When the driver of the car got out to talk to him, the teen reversed and crashed the bus into 10 parked vehicles, sending one crashing through the front of a clinic, Xinhua said. He also knocked down two electricity poles.

"It was like watching a blockbuster movie when I saw the bus crashing into cars like a bulldozer," said Liu, a man who runs a shoe-repair stand near the scene of the crash.

Liu was having breakfast when he said the bus came charging toward him like a "dancing dragon," Xinhua said. "I threw my canteen and ran for my life."

The report did not give the boy's name and said police were still trying to reach his guardians.

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