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At least 16 die after overloaded passenger bus falls off highway bridge in SW China

01-05-2012 09:27 BJT

GUIYANG, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 people were killed after a 53-seat tourist bus carrying 56 people fell from a highway bridge in southwest China's Guizhou province on Wednesday afternoon, local authorities said.

Rescue efforts have almost been completed as of 10 p.m., according to officials with the government of Guiding county, where the accident took place.

A bus from the city of Yiwu in east China's Zhejiang province, bound for the city of Luzhou in southwestern Sichuan province, fell off the bridge and plunged into a 10-meter-deep crevice at about 6:40 p.m. while traveling on an icy section of the Lanzhou-Haikou expressway.

The injured have been rushed to a local hospital. The exact number of injured has not been made available.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway,

Several parts of Guizhou province were hit by heavy snow on Wednesday, which led to wet and slippery roads and caused several road accidents.

The accident marks the second deadly bus accident to occur in China in just two days.

Thirteen people died and 41 others were injured on Tuesday when a heavy-duty truck collided with a coach on the Shanghai-Kunming expressway in central China's Hunan province.

The accidents occurred just before the annual Chinese New Year travel rush. About 2.85 billion people are expected to hit the roads during the travel peak from Jan. 8 to Feb. 16.

The Chinese New Year begins on Jan. 23 this year.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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