44 dead after tour bus falls off Tibet cliff

A tour bus on a highway in Tibet fell off a 10-metre cliff after crashing into an SUV and a pickup, killing 44 people and injuring 11 others, China's state media reported Sunday.

50 people were on board when bus careened off mountain road

Rescuers try to pull survivors from an overturned tour bus after it fell off a 10-metre cliff in Tibet. (Xinhua, Chogo/Associated Press)

A tour bus on a highway in Tibet fell off a 10-metre cliff after crashing into an SUV and a pickup, killing 44 people and injuring 11 others, China's state media reported Sunday.

The bus was carrying 50 people when it careened in mountainous southern Tibet on Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Most of the passengers were from four Chinese provinces. There were four people in the SUV and a truck driver, but their condition was unclear.

Vehicle landed upside down

Police detained the managers of a travel agency and tour company connected with the bus trip, Xinhua said.

It said that the bodies and survivors were pulled out of the bus and the injured rushed to hospitals in the regional capital of Lhasa. Photos released by the news agency showed the vehicle lying upside down.

Tourism has been on the rise in the scenic Tibetan Plateau, where mountain roads are often treacherous and can be particularly dangerous in the summer rainy season.

The road where Saturday's crash occurred had a massive landslide earlier in the week, covering a 280-metre stretch in debris, according to China's weather services.