24 mainland tourists killed in Taiwan coach fire
Taipei: Twenty-six people have died after a tour bus caught fire on a highway near Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan on Tuesday.
The victims include 23 tourists and a guide from the Chinese mainland, according to Taiwan authorities. The other two were the driver and a tour guide from Taiwan. There were no survivors from the bus, which, as images from highway surveillance cameras showed, was churning out smoke as it crashed into an outer lane barrier on the highway and caught fire. The mainland tourist group was composed of 14 women, seven men, two girls and a boy. They were heading to the airport after an eight-day tour of the island, according to local authorities.
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to put out the flames, according to Taiwan authorities. The tour bus had a record of five traffic violations in six years of service. Arrangements will be made as soon as possible for the relatives of the victims to go to Taiwan, said Man Hongwei, director of the Taipei office of the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits.