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Crane crash claims another life

A CRITICALLY injured tourist from Guangdong Province died this morning in Taipei, the third victim of last Friday's crane crash tragedy, the China news agency reported.

Zhang Shiguang had been in a coma after the accident which had already killed two tourists - Li Fuqing and Wang Bingkun - and injured another two, doctors said.

The tragedy occurred when a construction crane fell on a bus carrying 25 tourists from Guangdong's Dongguan City and crushed the rear of the bus.

Early investigations suggest overloading and strong winds may have caused the crane tower to fall as a construction company was removing its arms.

Meanwhile, the Dongguan tourism authority is investigating the mainland tour group for possible illegalities, today's Guangzhou Daily reported, citing tourism official Chen Xihui.

The group, all Dongguan residents, departed for Taiwan from Zhuhai, another Guangdong city, instead of Dongguan.

Group members told the authority that they had first contacted Dongguan's Fengxing travel agency but were later transferred to Zhuhai's China Travel Service Gongbei Port Co Ltd because Fengxing was not licensed to operate the Taiwan route, Chen said.

The families of the victims of the tragedy will get at least 45 million New Taiwan dollars (US$132,651) in compensation, according to Lu Ying, vice general manager of CTS Gongbei Port's outbound department.

The department is helping in negotiations with the construction companies responsible for the accident.

Because a deal has not been reached, the families declined the Taipei government's offer to arrange a memorial service for the dead victims this morning in Taipei, the Guangzhou Daily report said.

The families have decided to cremate the bodies of the victims and carry their ashes back to their hometowns, because of the complications in transporting bodies, sources close to the families said.


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