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SEF sends personnel to aid bus accident tourists

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairman Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said yesterday that the deputy head of the SEF's legal department has departed for mainland China to learn more about the cause behind the recent accident involving Taiwanese tourists and to assist with insurance settlements, medical fees and compensation.

A group of Taiwanese tourists were traveling on a bus through Zhangzhou City (漳州市) in Fujian province when the driver apparently lost control due to heavy rainfall; the vehicle subsequently plunged into Jiulong River (九龍江). There were 26 people on board, 19 of whom were rescued ashore; several deaths, however, have been confirmed.

Roughly 10 of the injured tourists returned to Taiwan early yesterday morning on a chartered flight.

Chang, who also doubles as deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, headed over to the airport on President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah's behalf to express concern.

The SEF asked its mainland Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, to help arrange a visit so that the deputy head of the legal department can learn more about the accident and help with insurance settlements, medical fees and compensation, Chang said.

Chang reassured the families of the victims, saying that his foundation and the relevant authorities will do all they can to help.

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