Au­thor­i­ties un­der­line cau­tion on trips home

China Daily (Canada) - - ANALYSIS -

The coun­try’s traf­fic au­thor­ity has warned of traf­fic safety risks af­ter 11 peo­ple died and 20 were in­jured in a sin­gle traf­fic ac­ci­dent dur­ing the peak of the Spring Fes­ti­val travel rush.

An over­loaded small bus skid­ded off the road at around 11:30 am on Tues­day at a down­hill turn in Ningdu county, Jiangxi prov­ince, and plunged into a 10-meter ditch. Nine peo­ple, in­clud­ing the driver, were killed at the scene and one died in hos­pi­tal the same day.

On Wed­nes­day, an­other per­son died from in­juries suf­fered in the ac­ci­dent.

Ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tions have found 31 peo­ple were on the 19-seater when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

Lo­cal po­lice have de­tained five peo­ple sus­pected of caus­ing the ac­ci­dent, in­clud­ing the le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a com­pany called Ruix­i­ang, which owns the bus.

The Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity has sent a work­ing team to Ningdu to guide the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the han­dling of the ac­ci­dent. It also warned of traf­fic safety risks as a large num­ber of peo­ple head home from the Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­day that of­fi­cially ended on Wed­nes­day.

The peak of the travel rush came as many re­gions were hit by rain and snow, which has in­creased safety risks, the min­istry said in a state­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Cen­ter, there will be rain in most re­gions south of the Yangtze River, and some of the re­gions may ex­pe­ri­ence heavy rain on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day.

The cen­ter said there will be snow in north­west­ern, north­east­ern and western parts of the coun­try on Thurs­day.

The min­istry said drowsy driv­ing and over­load­ing is more likely to oc­cur as the in­crease in trav­el­ers leaves the pub­lic road trans­porta­tion sys­tem stressed, and some peo­ple may turn to un­li­censed ve­hi­cles for rides.

The min­istry warned driv­ers not to use emer­gency lanes dur­ing traf­fic jams as that may pre­vent emer­gency ve­hi­cles from reach­ing those in­jured in ac­ci­dents.

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