32 tourists dead in Taiwan bus crash

At least 32 people die and 12 are injured in a bus accident near Taipei.

TAIPEI • A Taiwan bus reported to have been taking local tourists home after visiting seasonal cherry blossoms veered off a highway late yesterday, killing at least 32 passengers, the national fire department said.

Local media said the passengers had been returning from a trip to a farm in central Taichung when the vehicle went off the road in eastern Taipei.

The national fire agency said 32 people had been killed, with 13 still being treated in hospital, most of them with serious injuries.

"The passengers were all Taiwanese and mostly older people," said a member of the Taipei City fire department, which confirmed that the vehicle involved in the crash was a sightseeing tour bus.

Reports said the top of the vehicle was torn open after it flipped over on the side of the road.

Police are investigating whether the bus was speeding at the time, according to local media.

Last July, a bus crash outside Taipei killed 25 Chinese tourists on board.

Investigators said the driver of that bus intentionally set fire to it in a suicide bid before it careered into a crash barrier.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline '32 tourists dead in Taiwan bus crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe