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Tibet bus crash death toll rises to 15
( 2003-12-12 21:51) (Xinhua)

As one more seriously-injured person died in hospital Friday, the death toll of the bus crash early Monday in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has increased to 15, local traffic police said Friday.

As of press time, most of the injured had been discharged from hospital, while ten passengers were receiving treatment and a 14-year-old girl was still in a critical condition, according to a hospital source.

The bus, carrying 64 people including two drivers, left this regional capital around midnight Sunday, and was heading for Xigaze in southern Tibet when it plunged into a 30-meter gully at about 4:00 a.m. Monday.

Ten people died at the scene, and four died in hospital later Monday. The bus crash also injured 43 others, of whom six were in serious condition.

A source at the regional public security bureau said most of the passengers aboard the ill-fated bus were farmers and herdsmen from Tibet and neighboring Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.

One driver was injured seriously, and the other was slightly injured in the crash, police said.

An initial investigation has shown that the bus was carrying 20 more passengers than its loading capacity.

The regional transportation bureau has organized a team to investigate the cause of the accident and deal with its aftermath.

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