TAIWAN - Thirteen people died and 10 were injured yesterday when a bus with 23 people onboard traveling to Hsinchu County's Qalang Smangus [a native village] rolled off a cliff and tumbled over 100 meters.
According to the Hsinchu County Fire Bureau, after the accident at around 3 p.m. some injured passengers were able to climb back onto the road and call 119 for help.
The bureau dispatched 16 fire trucks to retrieve the victims, while the Atayal tribe from Qalang Smangus also came to assist in the rescue efforts.
Reports said that the bus's engine stalled without warning on an uphill section of Hsinchu Route 60, leading the vehicle to slip backwards and off the road.
Police said the bus may have moved closer to the edge of the road and stopped to allow another vehicle to pass when its engine stalled.One victim said, "I heard the engine turn silent before (the bus) went over and all I could think was 'it's over.'"
According to the Directorate General of Highways under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the passengers were mostly alumni from Tai Shan Elementary School who had come from New Taipei City for a reunion.Other than one passenger in his or her 30s, the others were all in their 50s or 60s.
Driver Dai Tien-shian survived the accident but suffered foot and head injuries. Officials said that he was conscious and will take questions from investigators when his condition improves.
The fire bureau said the accident is the worst ever seen in Qalang Smangus. Most accidents in the area are on a smaller scale and do not result in such a high number of deaths, the bureau added.
The incident is the most serious one seen nationwide since 2006, when a crash in Tainan killed 22 people and injured 24.
After that incident, government bureaus initiated restrictions prohibiting buses from traveling on some roads.Hsinchu Route 60, however, does not have any restrictions on buses.
Officials from the DGH stated that the trip was organised by the Enjoy Holiday travel agency. They noted that the driver does not have any violations on his record and the vehicle's registration is valid.
NOTES: Two videos attached, the first of the accident itself and the second is a news report with the aftermath.
original credit: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f27_1355154936 (RoMa23)
In: Regional News, WTF
Tags: taiwan, accident, bus, crash, passengers, injured, cliff, mountain,
Location: Hsinchu County, Taiwan (load item map)
Marked as: featured
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