26 die after tour bus catches fire on highway in Taiwan

Updated: 2016-07-19 15:55


26 die after tour bus catches fire on highway in Taiwan

Tour bus catches fire on highway to the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan, July 19, 2016. Twenty-six people died in this accident.[Photo by China Times/Asianewsphoto]

Twenty six people have died after a fire broke out in a tourist bus along the highway to the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, CCTV reports.

The report said the bus swerved into a hand rail on the highway for "unknown reasons" and then bursted into a fireball at 12:57 pm. The fire was put out half an hour later.

Taipei local media said the 24-member tourist group were from Northeast China's Liaoning province, who had arrived in Taiwan on July 12 and planned to return today.

The preliminary investigation has shown that most bodies were found at the rear of the coach, which could possibly mean the passengers tried but failed to break open the windows.

Taoyuan City Police has confirmed the number of victims as 26, and said all the 26 bodies will be transported to a funeral home for post mortem.

The State Council Taiwan Affairs Office urged Taiwan to investigate into the accident, and handle the aftermath properly. It said a team will be sent to Taiwan to help take care of the aftermath.

Xu Xiaolei, spokesman for China Youth Travel Service, said the bus fire is an isolated case, which does not indicate that Taiwan's ability to receive tourists has changed radically. He said the travel services in Taiwan perform well in general.

The Tourism Bureau of Liaoning province told China Daily that it has just been notified about the accident and does not have all the details.

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