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Death toll from bus blaze in Chengdu city rises to 25

The death toll from a bus blaze this morning in the city of Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province rose from 22 to 25, said the city government.

Another 76 people where injured, of whom 11 were seriously injured, and five are in critical conditions, said the bureau. All the injured were sent to the Chengdu No.2 People's Hospital and the Chengdu Army General Hospital.

The accident took place at 8 am when the No.9 bus, with license plate of Chuan A 49567 was on its way from Tianhui Township to downtown Chengdu, and caught fire under the Chuanshan Viaduct, said Mao Zhixiong, spokesman with the Chengdu city government, at the scene.

Sichuan governor Jiang Jufeng came to the scene to direct rescue work.

Witness said it took only a few minutes for the bus to catch fire, and the body of the burnt bus was dragged off the scene, which was only a few meters from the bus station.

"The bus driver escaped the fire and took part in the rescue," said a vendor near the bus station. More than 10 people escaped from the bus.

"The bus was not a new one and the temperature in Chengdu is not high," said a police officer, adding that the rescue work had ended.

Traffic police told Xinhua that it was not clear whether the accident was caused by self-ignition, and they are waiting for further technical check-ups.

Xinhua's reporter, who saw the scene, said it was cordoned off and there was much evidence of blood.

An inspection team, made up of officials with the governments of Sichuan Province and Chengdu City, will examine fire and safety facilities at bus and coach stops in Chengdu from 3 pm today.


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