Bus crash in China kills 36, injures 13

Policemen and firefighters at the site where a coach slammed into a wall just outside the Qinling tunnel in Ankang, a city in Shaanxi province, on Thursday night. The bus was carrying 49 people, including two children.
Policemen and firefighters at the site where a coach slammed into a wall just outside the Qinling tunnel in Ankang, a city in Shaanxi province, on Thursday night. The bus was carrying 49 people, including two children. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • At least 36 people were killed and 13 injured when a packed bus slammed into a wall at the mouth of an expressway tunnel in northern China.

The coach struck the wall just outside the Qinling tunnel in Ankang, a city in Shaanxi province, on Thursday night, said the State Administration of Work Safety.

Media photos showed twisted metal strewn in front of the bus, with several windows broken and a front tyre blown out.

"The coach was seriously mangled," the State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement, adding that the cause of the accident was under investigation.

The bus had departed from Chengdu in south-west Sichuan province en route to the central city of Luoyang.

The injured were taken to hospital. The bus had a 51-passenger capacity and was carrying 49 people, the statement said. Local media said two children were on board.

Sichuan province is already reeling from another tragedy as 23 people were killed and hundreds injured in an earthquake that struck the region on Tuesday night.

China's frequently overcrowded long-distance buses are particularly prone to fatalities.

Last month, 11 people died when a bus carrying 19 people collided with a lorry on a national highway in northern Hebei province.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2017, with the headline 'Bus crash in China kills 36, injures 13'. Print Edition | Subscribe