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March 8, 2011

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36 injured in teachers' trip coach crash

SOME 36 Shanghai tourists, most of whom are primary school teachers, were injured in a coach crash in Zhejiang Province at the weekend.

The group were returning to the city after a trip to Jiangxi Province when their vehicle overturned in wet weather. Most of the teachers, who work at Hongmiao Primary School in Fengxian District, are back in the city, except for seven still under observation in Hangzhou.

The injured will each receive compensation of up to 550,000 yuan (US$78,570), said tour organizer, the Shanghai Chaoxin Travel Service Co Ltd.

The accident occurred near the Huangheshan Tunnel about 5:30pm on Saturday. The coach slid on the wet road and rolled twice. No other vehicle was involved.

"I noticed that the driver was not in the coach," said Ji Lili, the tour guide. "Then I saw he had been thrown out of the window. Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt."

Ji, who was injured in the crash, said passengers who were still conscious managed to crawl out of the wreckage. The guide and the other injured were quickly taken to two hospitals in Hangzhou.

Two passengers suffered multiple fractures, including a 60-year-old man named Wang Yuxing, a relative of one of the teachers. Although serious, their injuries were not life-threatening, doctors said.

Ji said the 110-strong tour group set off on Friday in three buses from Shanghai to Jingdezhen Town, Jiangxi Province. The party included teachers from Hongmiao Primary School, as well as family members.

Although back in Shanghai, some teachers have been unable to resume work immediately. Fengxian District Education Bureau has sent teachers from other schools to cover. "We can't let students' education be affected by the accident," said Wang Ying, an official with the bureau.

Zhejiang police said investigations are continuing.


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