A 10-second clip from the on-board camera released by Chongqing police showed a female passenger yelling at the male driver while he was steering, shortly after 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Surveillance footage showed the bus veered across the lanes, hit a auto, demolished a section of Yangtze River No 2 bridge's barrier and plunged into the river, where the water is about 70 metres [230 feet] deep.
When she struck him again, he abruptly turned the steering wheel left, swerving into oncoming traffic before crashing into the railings on the side of a bridge - screaming can be heard as the video stops. China's state newspaper, People's Daily, reports 15 people died in the crash. She walked up to the driver's seat and scolded him.
According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, the salvage work was especially hard because of the small size of the bus, the depth of the water, limited visibility and shifting currents that impeded divers.
13 people were confirmed killed in the incident, while two are still missing.
Rescuers recovered the wreck of the bus Wednesday night.
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Officials said more than a dozen people were on the bus at the time of the crash.
The bus collided with an oncoming auto before smashing through barriers and into the Yangtze River on Sunday. The driver, with one hand on the wheel, hits back.
The passenger and driver have been identified by their surname as 48-year-old Liu and 42-year-old Ran, both from Wanzhou, police added.
A Wanzhou police statement said the driver and the passenger broke the law with their actions because they seriously endangered public safety.
As the quarrel escalated, the statement said, the woman hit the driver on the head with her cellphone.