Friday, 3 July 2015

Death toll from China bus crash rises to 11

The death toll from a bus accident in China rose to 11 as the driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead Thursday. He had been in a coma since the bus carrying 26 Korean government workers on a training program veered off a bridge in northeastern China earlier this week.

An official at the Korean Consulate in Shenyang said 10 out of 16 injured passengers were moved to a bigger hospital in Changchun this morning. The six others, who suffered relatively minor injuries, will be moved to Changchun shortly.

The injured had been treated in a hospital in Jian.

Chung Jae-geun, vice minister of government administration and home affairs whose ministry organized the trip, was dispatched to the scene of the accident and visited the injured in hospital.

The bodies of the 10 dead Korean passengers have been taken to a local mortuary, and 37 family members of the victims traveled to China.

Chinese media reported that authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident. CCTV footage shows the bus speeding before it veered off the bridge.

An official at the Korean Embassy in Beijing said, "We can't make a rash determination of the the cause of the crash due to compensation issues." The official added that it will take some time to get to the bottom of things since the driver is dead.

Some have pointed to safety issues with the bridge, which was built 30 years ago. One resident in the area said no maintenance work has ever been carried out.

Another cause of the many fatalities appears to have been a failure to fasten seat belts. Some passengers aboard other buses said the seat belts did not work.

The South Korean government sent an emergency team to China on Thursday to assist coping with the aftermath of a deadly bus accident in China's northeastern Jilin province, which killed 10 South Korean tourists and a Chinese driver. Four forensic experts from Korea also traveled to the scene of the accident to investigate.

The team of 11 officials will offer convenience to the families of the victims and help them return to South Korea. It will also discuss about the funeral and compensation issues with them, according to officials of South Korea's Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs.

A bus, carrying 28 passengers including 26 South Koreans, fell off a bridge into the river in Ji'an city on Wednesday when it was traveling to the border city of Dandong.

The victims were among 143 local government workers and five training staff who were touring remnants of the Koryo Kingdom in Jian aboard six buses and heading toward the town of Dandong on the border with North Korea.

The Chinese embassy in South Korea told Xinhua that it has assisted some family members of local South Korean government employees involved in the accident to get the emergency visa to China. Most of them will directly receive visa-on-arrival when landing China.

Some family members began arriving at a funeral hall in Ji'an, according to South Korea's Yohap news agency.

Friday 3 July 2015


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