Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Bus with Chinese tourists catches fire in Taiwan, killing 26

19 July 2016, 21:25

Taipei — A tour bus carrying visitors from China burst into flames on a highway near Taiwan's capital on Tuesday, killing all 26 people on board, officials said, in the deadliest incident involving Chinese tourism to the island.

The accident took place on the No. 2 national highway in Taoyuan county, south of Taipei, where Taiwan's international airport is located, the county's fire and rescue service said in a statement.

It said 24 of those on board were visitors from northeast China's Liaoning province who had been scheduled to fly home on Tuesday afternoon. The others killed were the driver and a tour guide, both Taiwanese.

Taoyuan fire chief Lai Chi-chong said all of the victims died inside the bus. "There was not enough time for them to escape," he told reporters.

Video from the scene showed both of the bus's doors pressed up against the highway's guard rail, making them impossible to open. Photos showed flames and thick black smoke pouring from the front of the bus.

Many of the bodies were badly charred, some of them piled in front of the unopened emergency exit, Taiwan's official Central News Agency and other media reported.

There was no official word on the cause of the fire, although CNA and others said that the bus apparently burst into flames after spinning out of control and smashing into the guard rail.

Also read: 11 dead in horror bus crash

CNA cited eyewitnesses as saying the bus had been giving off smoke and swerving from lane to lane prior to crashing and bursting into flames.

The drivers of other vehicles pulled over and attempted to put out the flames with fire extinguishers, but the fire had grown too large for them to put out, the news agency said.

Thirteen firefighting vehicles and 30 firefighters were sent to the scene, but the fire apparently spread too rapidly. By the time the flames were extinguished, the vehicle had been heavily blackened from one end to the other.

Three of the victims were children — two 13-year-olds and a 12-year-old, according to a passenger manifest distributed to media by the Taiwanese travel agency that organized the trip.

The accident was the deadliest involving Chinese visitors to Taiwan since the island opened up to Chinese tourism in 2008, according to Taiwanese government records and reports of previous incidents.

Since then, 83 Chinese have died while on trips to Taiwan, including Tuesday's victims. Several of those deaths involved bus crashes, including a 2010 crash that killed 19, and the latest accident is likely to revive safety concerns surrounding the treatment of Chinese tourists, most of whom come on cheap group tours.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office said it would send representatives to help deal with legal issues surrounding the crash. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and the sides have no formal ties, although contacts have been growing in recent years to handle trade, travel and other practical, nonpolitical matters.

However, relations have deteriorated since the January election of independence-leaning Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, and Chinese tourist numbers have declined steadily in recent months, dealing a major blow to the island's travel industry.

- AP


Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...