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November 23, 2010

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3 killed as city tour bus overturns

THREE Shanghai tourists were killed when their bus overturned in Tonglu County on Sunday morning, eastern China's Zhejiang Province. Another 28 people were hurt, one of whom was in critical condition, Tonglu traffic police said yesterday.

The Shanghai Tourism Administration said it is still investigating the accident and refused to comment yesterday.

The accident happened on Sunday about 8:30am. The bus was heading to Longmen Ancient Town in Fuyang from Yaolin Fairy Land. It overturned soon after emerging from the Huangnigang Tunnel.

"The ground was wet and we assume the driver was unfamiliar with the area," an official surnamed Man with the traffic police said. "The driver braked, but there was a junction ahead and he lost control."

Yang Guoliang, the bus driver, said he kept his speed at 60 kilometers per hour. Yang, who fractured several vertebrae in the accident, said he saw several people being thrown out of the coach. Others were trapped inside, while some emerged crying and screaming, he said.

"Many tourists were dozing at the time," said a tourist surnamed Chen. "And they didn't realize what had happened until afterwards."

When traffic police reached the scene, they found many people were still trapped.

"We tried to move the bus with a lifting jack and drag people out," said Man.

The most seriously injured were sent to the Tonglu County No. 1 People's Hospital, while the rest were ferried to hospital in taxis. Three people were pronounced dead, he said.

Police said the tour was organized by Shanghai Shanhe Travel Service Co Ltd. It was not available for comment.


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