A work safety official in northwest China's Shaanxi Province who was photographed smiling at the scene of a fatal bus crash last year has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and his case has been transferred to judicial authorities, local authorities said Friday.
Yang Dacai, former head of the provincial work safety administration, is engaged in serious disciplinary violations and is suspected of committing crimes during his tenure, according to Shaanxi provincial disciplinary authorities.
Yang first stirred up condemn from the netizens after he was photographed wearing a broad smile while surveying a road collision that left 36 people dead on Aug. 26.
His expression was seen as unsympathetic and aroused wide public indignation. Photos also surfaced of Yang wearing luxury wristwatches, earning him the nickname of "Brother Watch."
Although Yang claimed he purchased the watches with his own salary, Internet users argued that a public servant could not possibly afford the expensive watches.
After an initial investigation, Yang was dismissed from his position as a member of the Shaanxi Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, as well as head and CPC chief of the provincial work safety administration, in September 2012.