Tour bus overturns in Nantou; 1 killed, 20 injured

11/30/2020 09:47 PM
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Photo courtesy of a private contributor
Photo courtesy of a private contributor

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) One person died and 20 others were injured after a tour bus overturned Monday on a road leading to a national forest recreation area in Nantou, according to the Nantou County Fire Department.

A medium-sized bus from Kaohsiung bound for Aowanda Forest Recreation Area lost control and flipped over a curve at the 1.5-kilometer marker of the road leading to the forest area, the fire department said based on a report it received at around noon.

A total of 21 people, including the driver, were in the vehicle when the accident occurred.

One showed no vital signs when rescuers arrived at the scene, while another five were seriously injured and the 15 others were slightly injured, according to the Directorate General of Highways (DGH).

Nine of the injured were sent to Puli Christian Hospital and 11 were admitted to Taichung Veterans General Hospital's Puli Branch.

A 57-year-old man, surnamed Huang (黃) was thrown out of the bus and was killed in the accident, while his wife sustained rib, ankle and shinbone fractures but did not lose consciousness.

The bus suddenly lost control and overturned, a passenger said, but he was not sure how fast the bus was going. Most of the passengers were able to get off the bus on their own after the accident, he said.

An alcohol breath test showed that the 51-year-old driver surnamed Lin (林) was not under the influence of alcohol, according to Nantou police.

Before being sent to Puli Christian Hospital, the driver said the brake failed when the bus was going down a slope, forcing him to use the parking brake and letting the vehicle crash into the road's guardrail to slow it down.

That happened even though the bus was checked and had standard maintenance done before the tour, Lin said.

Meanwhile, Lee Hsueh-e (李雪娥), the operator of the tour bus company that hired the vehicle, rejected the driver's explanation that brake failure caused the accident while displaying the bus' maintenance records.

She said she suspected slippery road conditions or driving problems caused the accident.

(By Hsiao Po-yang, Hung Hsueh-kuang and Evelyn Kao)

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