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October 26, 2009

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Chinese American killed in bus rollover

A CHINESE American woman was one of two people killed when a shuttle bus heading for Shanghai's two international airports from Hangzhou overturned.

Nine others, including two foreigners, were still in hospital yesterday after the Friday afternoon crash on a Zhejiang Province expressway.

A pedestrian illegally trespassing on the freeway is believed to have been responsible for the evasive action by the bus driver that led to the tragedy.

Three of the passengers are in a critical condition in Jiaxing City hospitals, two with head injuries and one who faces major surgery that may include amputation, according to police.

The long-distance bus, owned by a leading Shanghai transport company, rolled about 5:44pm near Jiaxing on the Shanghai-Hangzhou Expressway.

The bus was carrying 29 passengers including five foreigners - two Chinese Americans and people from France, Italy and Canada - an officer surnamed Zhou, with the Jiaxing traffic police team, told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

A 48-year-old Chinese American woman and a Zhejiang Province man were killed in the crash and the other foreigners were either unhurt or suffered only minor injuries, Zhou said.

The deceased woman had lived in the United States for more than 20 years, he said.

All the injured were being treated in Jiaxing hospitals, except the other Chinese American passenger and the Canadian, suffering cuts and bruises who, at their own request, were transferred to a Hangzhou hospital.

The French and Italian passengers were unhurt in the accident, Zhou said.

The 37-passenger capacity coach bus is owned by Shanghai Zhixin Passenger Transport Co Ltd.

The company said it had sent a team to Jiaxing to help with the investigation and comfort victims.

Some front-seat passengers told police they believed someone was walking across the expressway, causing the driver to suddenly hit the brake and the bus to flip.

Jiaxing traffic police officers said they had gathered evidence and the cause of the crash seemed obvious.

"But we need to complete all official investigative steps before we release full information," Zhou said.


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