Bus accidents kill 36, injure dozens
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-10-04 08:54

Compensation has been set at 3.5 million New Taiwan dollars (US$110,000) for the families of the five mainland tourists killed in a bus accident in Taiwan on Monday, Xinhua reported.

Meanwhile, relatives of the victims are expected to leave today for the island from the coastal city Dalian, in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, local sources said.

A bus carrying tourists from the mainland plunged off a mountain road and into a deep valley in central Taiwan at about 7:50 pm on Monday, killing six and injuring 15, according to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

The victims included five people from Dalian and a local guide.

The dead were Wang Lixian and Wang Shaofei, employees of Dalian Detai Shareholding Co Ltd, Zhao Shifeng of the Tap Water Company of Dalian Development Zone, and Li Huimei and Liu Hong, staff of Dalian Dianci Co Ltd.

The tourists were insured with a travel agency in Taiwan and the bus was legally insured too, the Taiwan Association of Travel Agents (TWATA) said.

The injured, who are being treated in a hospital, would get 230,000 New Taiwan dollars (US$72,734) from the TWATA, it said.

The dead and injured were among a tourist group of 40 from Dalian. They were on their way from Alishan Mountain to Riyuetan Lake in two buses when one bus' brake broke as it travelled down the slope of a mountainside road.

The bus plunged into a mountain valley despite the driver's efforts to ram the bus into the mountain to slow the unbridled descent. At the same time, he warned passengers to protect their heads with their arms.

The accident happened in Xinyi Township, Nantou County, in central Taiwan.

In another development, a driver's possible suicide attempt might have caused a fatal bus accident that killed 30 people in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Sunday, local police said.

On-the-spot investigations indicated that the driver had intentionally attempted suicide, police said without further elaboration.

The accident occurred when a bus filled with passengers bumped onto the railing of the Shimen Bridge across the Jialing River, a branch of the Yangtze River that flowed by the city, according to the China News Service.

"I saw the bus crashing onto the railings and immediately felt a loss of gravity," said Long Fei, a surviving passenger. "When it occurred to me that there had been an accident, people around me were bleeding and some were dead."