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September 25, 2017

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3 Taiwanese killed in China tour bus crash

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Three Taiwanese were killed and 11 were injured yesterday when the tour bus they were in turned over in China's Hunan province.

According to the Tourism Bureau, the group of 14 Taiwanese was on its way to the tourist hot spot of Zhangjiajie in Hunan when the accident occurred.

The bureau said that the tour bus, carrying 13 clients of Lion Travel (雄獅旅行社) and one tour manager, turned over on a freeway heading into Zhangjiajie when it swerved to avoid a car accident a short distance down the road.

According to the bureau, two tourists and the tour manager — all women — died at the scene, while 11 tourists suffered from minor injuries and were transferred to the First People's Hospital of Changde and the Second People's Hospital of Changde.

Andy Yu (游國珍), the associate general manager of Lion Travel, said that heavy rain was also a major factor in the accident.

"Lion Travel is very sorry for the accident and two directors of the travel agency will accompany the family members of the tourists who passed away in the accident to Hunan," said Yu.

"Lion Travel took out an accidental death insurance policy that is worth NT$2 million and a medical insurance policy that is worth NT$30,000 for each member of the tour group," he said.

Yu said that the group left Taiwan on April 28 for an eight-day trip to visit famous tourist spots. The accident took place as the group was on its way from Changsha (長沙), the capital city of Hunan, to Zhangjiajie.

According to the Tourism Bureau, there are currently no direct flights between Taiwan and Zhangjiajie. Therefore, those wanting to visit the famous tourist spot have to take a flight to Changsha and then travel to Zhangijie by bus or train.

Zhangjiajie, a part of the Wulinyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area (武陵源自然風景區), became the first national forest park in China when it was founded in 1982. It was listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1992.

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