At Least 32 People Killed In Tour Bus Crash In Taiwan

By Merrit Kennedy NPR

A bus packed with elderly tourists flipped onto its side on a highway exit ramp Monday evening in Taiwan near the capital, Taipei, killing at least 32 people, according to multiple news reports.

“The passengers, most of whom were senior citizens, were returning home from a tour of cherry blossoms at Wuling Farm in Taichung,” according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency. A total of 44 people reportedly were on board the bus, and all are believed to be Taiwanese.

The fire department told Reuters that area hospitals were treating 12 people injured in the crash.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the vehicle to crash.

“It happened on a curve, so the bus flipped and that could be due to excess speed,” Tu Bing-cheng, a Taipei city official, told the AP. “The whole frame of the bus changed shape, got crushed and left no openings.”

Photos from the scene show a crane attempting to lift the damaged green-and-yellow bus. Others show bodies lying in rows, covered in white cloth.

Last July, a tour bus carrying visitors from mainland China caught fire, killing all 26 people on board, as The Two-Way reported. An investigation later concluded that the driver was suicidal and lit the fire himself, according to the BBC.

And just this month, Reuters reports that “another Taiwanese tour bus carrying Chinese tourists crashed into a bridge in southern Taiwan, injuring some passengers.”

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