Bus Driver Honored for Saving Lives, While Losing His Own

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HONG KONG (CNN) -- Chinese officials have formally honored a bus driver for saving the lives of 24 people when he managed to stop the bus after being struck by a piece of flying sheet metal that came crashing through his windshield.

Wu Bin, the 48-year-old bus driver, collapsed shortly after pulling over. He died on Friday, three days after the accident in Zhejiang province, eastern China.

On Tuesday, the Zhejiang provincial government awarded Wu the title of "Provincial Labor Model", according to a statement from the government office.  

Local officials said all citizens should learn from Wu's selfless act.  

Similarly, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions awarded Wu the "May 1st Labor Medal," one of the highest honors for Chinese workers.

But officials aren't the only ones praising Wu for his actions.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people attended his funeral Tuesday morning, a staff member at the Hangzhou Funeral Home told CNN. People began showing up at 5 a.m. for the 8 a.m. funeral , the staff member said.  

A procession held Monday through the streets of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province where Hu worked also drew thousands of mourners, including dozens of transportation workers, according to the state-run Shanghai Daily.  

Police told the Shanghai Daily that they have narrowed the search to nine vehicles that might be the source of the errant piece of metal and they plan to prosecute whoever is responsible.