Bus plummets off cliff, killing 26

By Huang Zhiling (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-19 07:38
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CHENGDU - A bus carrying 38 passengers plunged off a cliff and into the raging waters of the Dadu River in Danba county in the Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Sichuan province on Sunday, killing 26.

The incident took place at 10:25 am, more than three hours after the bus departed from Maerkang county, capital of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture, en route to the Sichuan capital of Chengdu.

All the 12 injured are in stable conditions after being rushed to the nearby People's Hospital in Badi Village in Danba.

A fast-rising water level and intense rain, create "difficulty in such rescue operations", said Yang Shijun, the chief information officer for the autonomous prefecture.

Danba is some 200 km away from Kangding, the prefecture capital. Due to its relative isolation, Yang noted, communication in the region can often be difficult.

The cause for the accident remained unclear as of late Sunday. Heavy rains, however, had pummeled the county for nearly a week.

The bus was following a daily schedule that departed from the Maerkang station at 6:50 am, normally arriving at Chengdu by 7 pm.

On June 15, the most recent such tragedy, 23 were killed and seven injured following a mountain collapse caused by heavy rains in Ganzi.

Zhang Ao contributed to this story.