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November 27, 2010

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3 die as another coach crashes

A TOUR bus was involved in a crash on a city expressway yesterday that left at least three people dead and 17 others injured. Three of the injured were reported to be in critical condition.

This was the third fatal coach crash involving tour companies from Shanghai this month.

The accident happened about 3:30pm when the bus carrying passengers booked on a Shanghai Tianyuan Holiday Tour Agency trip collided with the rear of a car on the Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway in the city's Jiading District, police said.

The bus rolled onto its side, blocking two lanes of the expressway, and caught fire, a witness said.

The ground was scattered with debris from the bus and broken glass. There were 18 passengers onboard the bus at the time, police said.

A police helicopter was dispatched to ferry a female passenger to hospital. The woman was identified by the city's Ruijin Hospital as Chen Hua, a 27-year-old Shanghai resident. Chen, who suffered broken ribs and injuries to her spleen, underwent emergency surgery.

Tailbacks quickly formed on the expressway, with vehicles bumper to bumper for kilometers. Traffic began to flow again about 45 minutes later, after the bus was towed away. However, there were still delays until around 7pm.

The accident once again raises concerns over safety on tour buses.

On November 7, a coach carrying passengers on a Shanghai Xindalu Travel Service Co Ltd trip overturned in Jinshan District, killing four tourists.

Then last Sunday, three tourists on a trip organized by the Shanghai Shanhe Travel Co Ltd died in a bus accident in Tonglu, Zhejiang Province. Both cases are under investigation.

This week Shanghai tourism authorities said they would carry out secret investigations into how travel companies rent coaches. Any company found using illegal bus companies faces being shut down.

The Shanghai Tourism Administration has discovered that some bus companies rent scrapped buses from other provinces and hire unqualified drivers.


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