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August 13, 2011

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Tourist dies in bus trip tragedy

A TRIP to a famous mountain resort town turned to tragedy for Shanghai travelers when their bus overturned on a wet expressway in neighboring Zhejiang Province yesterday.

One man was killed and more than 40 others, including seven children, were injured. Of the injured, four, all adults, were in a critical condition.

The bus, belonging to a Shanghai tourism transport company, overturned at about 9am on the G2501 road near Hangzhou, Shanghai tourism officials said.

The bus was heading to Jiangxi Province's Sanqing Mountain on a three-day trip, tourism officials said.

The driver, a guide and 44 tourists were on board.

Tourism authorities said rainfall had made conditions on the expressway treacherous and the bus had rolled over as it tried to overtake other vehicles. "The driver did not slow down until we were just several meters from a van in front," said one passenger, surnamed Xia.

Xia said that the bus was driving at about 90 kilometers per hour at the time.

As the bus approached the van, Xia recalled the driver turning left sharply, almost crashing into crash barriers in the middle of the expressway. Then the bus suddenly turned right and again sharp left, hitting the barriers this time, and overturning.

Injured pulled out

Rescue workers had to pull out some of the injured from the damaged bus through the broken windshield.

Wang Qi, 58, the last passenger to be pulled out, was pronounced dead later from a cerebral hemorrhage.

A witness said Wang had been sitting at the rear of the bus at the time of the accident and had been stuck between two seats.

A hospital in Hangzhou said 41 people were being treated for their injuries. The driver suffered cuts to his hands.

Another passenger, surnamed Wang, said they had changed buses after their original one had broken down.

Managers with the Shanghai Datong Travel Agency, and officials with the Shanghai Tourism Bureau went to the scene of the crash.

Datong managers said about 80 percent of the tourists had purchased accident insurance while tourism officials said the dead passenger did not have any.

Yesterday's crash was the second expressway accident near Hangzhou after another passenger bus overturned in its way from Hangzhou to Shanghai on Thursday at about 7pm, injuring 45 passengers.

Two who had suffered head injuries were still in a critical condition last night, said doctors at the Shanghai No. 6 People's Hospital.


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