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Watch highway safety, security officials urge
By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-16 06:10

After 39 people were killed in three traffic accidents during Spring Festival, the Ministry of Public Security is urging local authorities to ensure road safety nationwide.

The move came in a statement issued yesterday on its website after the accidents, which also injured 26.

Twenty-four people died and 20 were injured in the corresponding period of last year, the statement said. However, that figure came from only one accident.

Passenger flow increased during this holiday season, when people go home for family reunions. College students and migrant workers make up most of the travellers. However, estimates for the recently finished season are still unavailable.

Vehicles overloaded with gifts and luggage would also be a contributing factor, and recent bad weather, including snow and rain in most parts of China, has also been held partially responsible for the tragedies, the statement said.

The latest of the three accidents was one that killed 19 people and injured 11 on Saturday in Hekou County in the Hani-Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Honghe Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

The accident occurred at 8:40 pm when Wu Zhenghong, a villager in Pingbian County, was driving a truck overloaded with 30 people along National Highway No 326, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The truck ran into a ditch about 100 metres deep on a switchback road under dark, rainy conditions.

(China Daily 02/16/2006 page2)

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