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Most injured in Yilan bus accident discharged from hospital

2012/05/11 22:40:13

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Most of the passengers injured when their tour bus crashed in Yilan County Friday have been discharged from the hospital, according to hospital administrators.

A tour bus carrying 43 senior citizens from Taipei, crashed into a house in Dongshan Township at around 10:46 a.m. before swerving into a nearby rice paddy, leaving 37 people on board injured.

Twelve passengers and the driver were rushed to Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital and the remainder were sent to Saint Mary's Hospital in Luodong for emergency treatment, the county fire bureau said.

Most of those who suffered relatively minor injuries were discharged from the two hospitals in the afternoon.

But three other passengers and the 55-year-old driver surnamed Fu remained hospitalized. Fu suffered fractures in both legs and other injuries to his chest and neck.

An initial investigation ruled out a tire blowout or drunk driving as the cause of the accident has showed that the bus itself had a clean record.

But it also found that the driver had been implicated in nine traffic violations, though none of the cases have yet been brought to a conclusion.

It also discovered that the driver's bus license had expired four months earlier and had not been renewed, for which he will be fined between NT$1,800 (US$61.2) and NT$3,600 according to the Act Governing the Punishment of Violations of Road Traffic Regulations, local police said.

They added that a further investigation will be needed to determine the cause of the accident.

The accident happened on the heels of two other serious bus crashes in Taiwan in the past week. The first was on May 7, when a bus rear-ended a car in a fatal crash in Hsuehshan Tunnel.

Then on May 9, a bus being driven by an unlicensed driver carrying South Korean tourists overturned in Hualien County, leaving 15 people injured.

(By Worthy Shen and Scully Hsiao)