Tour buses grounded after deadly crash
TAIWAN authorities ordered some tour buses off the road yesterday after one caught fire and killed 26 on board as questions swirl over why emergency doors and windows did not open.
Local media reported that bodies were found piled at the escape routes at the back of the bus full of Chinese tourists, which caught fire then crashed through an expressway barrier on July 19 on its way to the main airport in Taoyuan in Taipei.
Investigators believe mechanical or electrical failure near the driver’s seat may have led to the disaster, according to reports.
The China Times said preliminary investigations had also found emergency door handles may have been distorted by heat from the inferno inside the bus.
Pictures from the scene showed two men outside the bus trying to smash windows open with fire extinguishers.
One eyewitness said trapped passengers inside the bus had been pounding on the windows as it careered off the road.
Four buses belonging to the Mei Kui Shih Transportation Company – which operated the tour bus – were ordered off the road.
Another 16 buses of the same model, used by other tour companies, will have a compulsory inspection within the next week. –