Tragedy as 32 tourists die in Taiwan

Tragedy struck in Taiwan on Monday night when a tour bus crash killed at least 32 people.

Channel NewsAsia reports that the bus, which was carrying 44 people including the driver and a tour guide, hit a road barrier before flipping on to its side. Thirty people were pronounced dead at the scene while two others died in hospital. The remaining 12 passengers are all being treated in hospitals around Taipei.

The Taiwan Tourism Bureau said that the tour had been organised by the Tieh Lien Hua Travel Agency and that many of the passengers were elderly. It is believed they were all Taiwanese nationals.

Taiwan News cited a preliminary investigation by highway police as saying that the group was on its way back to Taipei follow a trip to the Wuling Farm to view the cherry blossom. The Taiwan-based China News Agency (CNA) added that 200 fire-fighters and 20 ambulances had been deployed to the crash site.

While the cause of the accident is unclear, the fact that it happened on a bend in the road led one official to say that it “could be due to excess speed”.

Taiwan has a relatively good road safety record, but several crashes have been reported involving tour buses, including one last month which injured several mainland Chinese passengers.

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