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4 killed as bus falls off cliff in Guangdong

FOUR passengers were killed and 39 others injured yesterday after a bus traveling south on the Beijing-Zhuhai Freeway broke through a guardrail and plunged off a cliff in Guangdong Province.

Traffic police in Shaoguan City said the bus carried 43 passengers. It set off from Nanyang City in central China's Henan Province at 10am on Saturday for Dongguan City in Guangdong.

All passengers were residents of Zhenping County in Nanyang.

The accident happened about 3:45am when the driver swerved to avoid hitting an unidentified object in front of the bus. The bus plunged halfway down a 50-meter-high cliff. It was stopped by part of a bridge support pole.

Two women and two men were killed instantly. Of the injuries, five were serious, but they were expected to survive.

Hou Jiangbo was on the bus with his wife and two friends.

"We were all asleep when the accident took place, but woke up when the bus rolled over," Hou said. "Both my wife and I were resting on the reclined seats when the bus landed on a slope.

"It was pitch black outside and it was raining lightly and very cold," Hou continued. "I felt horrible, so I called for my wife loudly and soon discovered her lying about 3 meters from me. I crawled toward her and called police."

The bus driver was unharmed. He was taken into police custody. Police are still investigating the accident.


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