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June 4, 2011

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3rd fatal tunnel bus crash in 3 months

A BUS driver was killed and 15 passengers injured after a bus plowed into a truck loaded with scrap metal in a tunnel yesterday morning.

This was the third fatal accident since March in which Shenchong Line buses have collided with other vehicles in the tunnel section of the Changjiang tunnel-bridge when weather and traffic conditions were good.

The latest accident occurred at 10:30am when a No. 5 Shenchong Line bus, carrying 28 passengers from Chongming County to the Pudong New Area, hit the rear of a truck, witnesses said.

Scrap metal loaded on the truck was embedded 1 meters into the front of the bus.

The 47-year-old driver, surnamed Cao, who had driven buses for 10 years, was confirmed dead at the scene.

Among the injured treated at Changhai Hospital, a 63-year-old male passenger surnamed Zhu was seriously injured, suffering two fractures to his right leg and cuts to his chest.

He was later said to be out of danger.

Four passengers suffered fractures and bruising, while another 10 went home or to work following treatment for slight injuries, said doctor Su Jiacan at Changhai Hospital.

One of the injured, 40-year-old Xu Bing, told Shanghai Daily that after the accident he saw the driver lying under a pile of scrap metal with blood coming out of his mouth.

Another passenger, 40-year-old Yue Guifeng, who suffered a broken leg, recalled the aftermath of the collision.

"It all happened so fast. One second I was sleeping, the next second I jumped out of my seat and saw broken glass scattered everywhere."

Passengers quickly got off the bus, fearing an explosion as they saw fuel leaking from the ruptured oil tank, said Yue.

Pudong traffic police said the accident was still under investigation.

Three people, including both bus drivers, died in the previous two smashes on March 11 and April 21.

Traffic police concluded those accidents were caused by drivers being tired and not concentrating, as they ran into vehicles in front of them at full speed.

An official with Baoshan Bashi Co, which operates the No.5 Shenchong Line service, said they were investigating.


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