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Third tourist dies after crane crash

A TOURIST from Guangdong Province who had been injured in last Friday's crane crash tragedy died in Taipei yesterday, the China News Service reported.

Zhang Shiguang, 63, had been in a coma since the accident in which another two tourists - Li Fuqing and Wang Bingkun - had died, doctors said.

Zhang suffered severe brain damage in the accident and was on life support.

Two people injured in the incident, Wang Peiling and Ye Zhitang, are in stable condition and will be released from hospital in a few days, officials said.

Fourteen tourists from the group returned to Guangdong on Saturday.

Taipei prosecutors visited the accident site yesterday morning for a simulation test of the accident as primary investigation found negligence had probably been involved.

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.

Meanwhile, the Dongguan tourism authority is investigating the mainland tour group for possible illegalities, yesterday'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.

Lu Ying, vice general manager of CTS Gongbei Port's outbound department said the department was helping in compensation negotiations with the construction companies involved in the incident. Because a deal has not been reached, the families declined the Taipei government's offer to arrange a memorial service for the victims 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.

Taiwan's tourism authority is halving the daily quota for mainland tourists from 7,200 to 3,000 from May, reported.

The move is to prevent a slide in service quality of the island tourism industry due to a sharp increase of mainland tourists.

The authority also decided to add 1,360 coaches with a driving history of seven to 10 years to its fleet of carrying mainland tourists.

Currently, only coaches with driving history of less than seven years are allowed in the transport business.


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