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Taiwan regret at fatal crane crash

A leader of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation yesterday expressed his condolences to relatives of two tourists from the Chinese mainland who were killed in a crane crash in Taipei.

Kao Koong-lian, vice chairman and secretary-general, said he was sorry the accident on Friday led to their deaths.

"I feel very sorry and would like to send condolences to their families," he said at a meeting with his mainland counterpart Zheng Lizhong, deputy chief of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.

The tragedy was "pure accident," he said, adding that he believed it should not influence cross-Strait relations.

At least three other tourists were injured in the crane crash.

Early investigations showed that possible overloading and strong winds caused the tower crane to fall suddenly when a construction company was removing its arms.

Fifteen members of the group of 25 returned home yesterday afternoon, said Syu Gao-cing, secretary-general of Taiwan's Tourism Business Association.

Syu said a dozen family members of the victims would arrive in Taipei to deal with the aftermath. The tourists were all from Dongguan City in coastal Guangdong Province.

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan signed a landmark agreement last June to allow mainland tourists to travel in Taiwan from July last year.

"At the beginning, the number of mainland tourists to Taiwan fell short of our expectations," Kao said. "But it has been increasing fast this year." By April 16, more than 203,000 Chinese mainland tourists visited Taiwan.


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