CHINA> Regional
Death toll rises to 21 in NW China highway crash
Updated: 2008-12-02 15:02

URUMQI --The death toll from a highway collision has risen to 21 in Kuqa, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Tuesday, said local sources.

Another 12 were injured, three were in serious conditions.

The accident happened around 8:30 a.m. when a coal truck and a bus collided head-on while traveling on National Highway 314.

Related readings:
 Road accident kills 20 in northwest China

A source with the Aksu Prefectural Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) confirmed 19 of the dead were from the bus. Two others who died were from the truck, which belonged to the Third Transport Company with Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps..

The bus, with 34 reclining seats, left Artux in southwestern Xinjiang and was heading for Urumqi,the regional capital,which is more than 1,000 km to the north.

Police suspect fatigue might be the cause of the accident, as the weather was sunny. They ruled out terrorism.

Traffic on the highway has been stopped.

Xinjiang is the largest region in China in terms of landmass. Kuqa sits on the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountain Range which divides Xinjiang into two parts. There several fatal accidents in the region because of poor road conditions.

The most recent major road accident happened in Akqi, a county inside Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture, western Xinjiang, on August 12. Twenty-five people were killed.