Tour bus flips on Taiwan highway, killing 32 people
Rescue workers pry crushed vehicle open to reach trapped passengers
A bus carrying Taiwanese tourists on a trip to view cherry blossoms flipped over on an expressway ramp in Taiwan's capital on Monday, killing 32 people and injuring many others, officials said.
The bus was carrying 44 people when it crashed Monday evening on the No. 5 expressway, the Taipei city fire department said. It said authorities were still trying to determine the cause of the accident.
"It happened on a curve, so the bus flipped and that could be due to excess speed," said Tu Bing-cheng, a Taipei city official. "The whole frame of the bus changed shape, got crushed and left no openings."
Many passengers were trapped under the crushed bus, and rescue personnel used a crane to pry the vehicle open.
Thirty-two people, all Taiwanese, were confirmed dead and the remaining passengers were sent to hospitals for treatment, Tu said.
The bus belonged to a private company, he said. It was taking tourists back from a trip to see cherry blossoms when it crashed, Taipei city Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-ji said.
A bus accident in Taiwan last July killed 26 tourists from mainland China, raising concern from officials in Beijing about travel safety.