CHINA> Regional
Team to investigate fatal highway accident
Updated: 2008-09-16 15:07

CHENGDU - China's cabinet, the State Council, on Tuesday, set up a special team to investigate a bus accident which killed 51 people in the southwest Sichuan Province.

The group, led by Liang Jiakun, deputy chief of the State Administration of Work Safety, included officials from the ministries of supervision, public security and transport. All-China Federation of Trade Unions and the Sichuan Provincial Government will also be involved.

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The Supreme People's Procuratorate was also asked to be involved in the investigation.

On Saturday afternoon, a bus veered off a road, plowed through a guardrail and plunged into a 100-meter-deep valley in Nanjiang County. All 51 people aboard were killed. Most of the riders were locals from Bazhong, a city in eastern Sichuan.

Xian Guangzong, had been removed from the Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Bazhong Transport (Group) Co. Ltd, which owned the bus. Xian also had his CPC membership on the Bazhong City Communications Bureau committee taken away.

He could suffer further punishment. Calls were made to have Xian's posts as the bus company's board chairman and general manager removed. That's according to a decision by the Bazhong City CPC committee on Monday.

Both Li Zhongbin, Bazhong City's CPC chief, and Mayor Pu Bo apologized to the public through a local TV station for the fatal accident.