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2 Taiwanese die, 5 missing in China bus crash

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Two Taiwanese tourists were killed, 19 were injured and five remain missing after the tour bus carrying them fell into Jiulong River, the Xiamen Tourism Bureau announced yesterday.

According to the bureau, the tour bus, which fell into the river due to heavy rain, was towed out of the river and two people were confirmed dead.

Life Tour, the travel agency that was in charge of the tour, said that the majority of the 26 tourists were from Hsinchu. They left Taiwan on May 22 and were scheduled to return to Taiwan on May 25.

According to the Xiamen Tourism Bureau, the bus fell into the river at around 12:30 p.m. after skidding off the road due to heavy rain. A rescue team arrived at the scene to pull passengers out of the river.

The Xiamen Tourism Bureau said that 19 people were rescued from the accident, but seven were missing. After the bus was towed out of the river, two people were found trapped in the bus and showed no signs of life.

Presidential Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo yesterday said that President Ma Ying-jeou was greatly concerned about the tour bus accident and has ordered the Executive Yuan to pay close attention to the latest updates on the incident and provide assistance when necessary.

According to the Tourism Bureau of Taiwan, the two deceased victims were over the age of 45 and several of the missing were from one family.

The Tourism Bureau of Taiwan said that it has asked the Fujian Tourism Bureau and the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association Shanghai Branch Office to help tourists involved in the accident.

According to Life Tour, all tourists are insured with NT$2 million for accidental death and dismemberment, as well as NT$100,000 for medical expenses.

Among the tourists who were rescued, according to Life Tour, five of them suffered from bone fractures or broken bones; two of the injured were undergoing surgery as of press time. One tourist who was traveling with her husband is pregnant, but she only suffered minor injuries.

Life Tour said that some family members of the injured tourists took evening flights to Fujian province last night.

A similar tour bus accident took place in China over a year ago, resulting in the deaths of three Taiwanese tourists and injuring 11 when a bus turned over on a freeway heading into Zhangjiajie after it swerved to avoid a car accident a short distance down the road.

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A 500-ton tow truck is dispatched to the scene of a tour bus accident in Zhangshou City, China, yesterday. Two Taiwanese tourists were killed, 19 were injured and five remain missing after the tour bus carrying them fell into Jiulong River, the Xiamen Tourism Bureau announced yesterday.(CNA)



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