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Bus crash kills 21 in Southwest China
By Wu Chong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-12 00:41

Three people remained missing Tuesday after a bus crash Sunday morning in Southwest China's Sichuan Province which killed 21 people and injured a further 21.

Including the bus driver and a 21-year-old tour guide of China Travel Service, 45 people were on the bus travelling from Chongqing Municipality to Jiuzhaigou, a famous scenic spot in the province, when the tragedy happened in Pingwu County.

"The bus was travelling at full speed, when it suddenly crashed into a wall. Then it bounced back and plunged into the Fujiang River," Chengdu Shangbao Newspaper quoted Liu Yun, a witness, as saying yesterday.

"The accident happened in a sharp C-shaped bend," the newspaper reported.

The bus driver and the tourist guide were among the dead.

"The passengers are all adults, with the eldest being 72. The majority are women from Chongqing Municipality," said Si Yurong, head of the county.

Si said all survivors are injured. And 18 of them have been sent to a downtown hospital in Mianyang, the county seat of Pingwu.

"The remaining three, who are more seriously injured, are staying in the county hospital, each being given special care and close monitoring by three doctors," she said.

They have all been removed from the danger list, she added.

The China Travel Service and related insurance companies have donated 1 million yuan (US$120,000) to cover the treatment costs of the injured passengers and other expenses.

Zhang Jie, an official with the Mianyang municipal government, said although the final result remains unknown, the initial investigation has confirmed that the bus was not overloaded.

The bus was hoisted out of the river yesterday morning, with one woman's dead body being found, Si said.

The search is continuing along the river for the missing passengers and some of the relatives of the dead have already arrived in the province.

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