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13 dead in coach crash (update)

2012/12/09 19:06:11

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) Thirteen people were killed and another was seriously injured in a coach accident in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu County Sunday.

Seven others with lesser injuries were taken to hospitals, while two passengers were still missing as of 5:40 p.m. that day, according to the Hsinchu County Fire Bureau.

The bus, carrying a driver and 22 tourists from the Taishan District of New Taipei, went off the road and fell into a ravine in a mountainous area of Jianshih Township at about 3 p.m.

The victims were alumni of Taishan Elementary School and were on a two-day trip for a class reunion. Most of the passengers were aged over 60, according to the bureau.

Several of the injured passengers climbed up the steep slope and called the bureau for help. Atayal aborigines from the Smangus tribe also took part in the rescue and helped to carry the injured out of the ravine.

The bus driver survived and was helping with an investigation into the crash, said the bureau.

The bureau dispatched rescue and ambulance personnel and also sought additional support from the fire bureaus of Hsinchu City and Taoyuan County.

In addition, the Ministry of National Defense sent a team of military personnel to the site to help with the rescue mission.

(By Lin Shen-hsu, Lin Jui-yi, Chang Ming-kun, Rogge Chen, Sunrise
Huang, Chen Tzu-ling and Nell Shen)