42 held ac­count­able for deadly bus fire

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By XIN­HUA

A State Coun­cil in­ves­tiga­tive team has iden­ti­fied 42 peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for a tour bus fire that killed dozens, an of­fi­cial with the team said on Fri­day.

The bus was car­ry­ing 57 peo­ple when it crashed into the guardrail on a high­way in Hu­nan prov­ince and went up in flames on June 26.

An oil leak caused the blaze, which killed 35 peo­ple, the of­fi­cial said.

Fol­low­ing the team’s find­ings, 21 peo­ple have been placed un­der crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, while 21 lo­cal of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing a deputy mayor, have re­ceived dis­ci­plinary and ad­min­is­tra­tive penal­ties.

The bus driver, iden­ti­fied as Liu Dahui, stands ac­cused of driv­ing while overly fa­tigued and be­ing di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for the ac­ci­dent, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial, who added Liu had not slept for days and lost con­trol of the ve­hi­cle.

It was found that the bus door could not open wide enough af­ter the crash, and emer­gency ham­mers to break the win­dows were not ac­ces­si­ble to the trapped pas­sen­gers, mostly tourists.

Chaos set in as Liu and the tour guide es­caped from the bus through the win­dow next to the driver’s seat with­out try­ing to help the trapped pas­sen­gers es­cape, the of­fi­cial said.

Thir­teen ad­di­tional peo­ple es­caped with in­juries.

The in­ves­tiga­tive team called the ac­ci­dent an “ex­tremely se­ri­ous work safety ac­ci­dent”.

The State Coun­cil de­fines “ex­tremely se­ri­ous” ac­ci­dents as those that kill more than 30 peo­ple, se­ri­ously in­jure 100, or re­sult in over 100 mil­lion yuan in di­rect eco­nomic losses.

China has vowed to op­ti­mize su­per­vi­sion and laws and reg­u­la­tions to re­duce work ac­ci­dents by 2020.

In 2015, there were 38 ex­tremely se­ri­ous or se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents, with al­most 300 ca­su­al­ties, data showed.


A Cantonese opera per­former shows his skills at Times Square in Cause­way Bay dur­ing the press preview of “A Cul­ture Trea­sure Passed Down through the Ages” on Fri­day. The Cantonese opera per­for­mances are to cel­e­brate the Chi­nese New Year and run from to­day (Satur­day) to Feb 5.

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