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Death toll rises to 18 in NW China bus crash

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-02 11:18

LANZHOU -- Eighteen people have been confirmed dead and 34 others injured in a bus accident in Gansu Province after more bodies were recovered from the wreckage, government sources said Saturday.

Reporters at the site saw rescuers had lifted away the wreckage and were finishing up their search for the missing at 7 pm.

Death toll rises to 18 in NW China bus crash

Photo taken on Feb 2, 2013 shows the damaged bus after an accident occured in Ningxian county of Qingyang city, in Northwest China's Gansu province. [Photo/Xinhua]

An overloaded bus caught fire after falling into a ravine around 10 pm Friday near the county seat of Ningxian, Qingyang City, according to sources with the Gansu provincial government.

Rescuers retrieved six bodies shortly after the accident, and the death toll climbed to 18 after two injured passengers died in the hospital and more bodies were found at the site.

Thirty-four people injured in the accident, including two seriously, were receiving medical treatment in four local hospitals, doctors said.

The bus, carrying mostly migrant farmers and their family members, veered off the road at a curve, before tumbling into the ravine of 10 meters deep and catching fire, sources said.

The bus had a loading capacity of 47 people, and a total of 54 were onboard when it left Langfang City in north China's Hebei Province, according to the provincial emergency response office.

One of the injured passengers, Shi Xiaobo, recalled that the bus dashed into the ravine while attempting to make a turn around the curve.

Some passengers were thrown out of the bus as it tumbled down the ravine, Shi said, adding that others scrambled to escape before the bus caught fire.

He said about seven children were onboard the overloaded bus. Their conditions are not yet known.

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