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15 tourists killed in China bus plunge
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Feb 26, 2012

Fifteen tourists were killed and another 19 injured when their bus plunged into a ravine, Chinese authorities said -- the latest deadly accident on the nation's dangerous roads.

The incident happened on Saturday morning after the bus took a bend on a highway in Shanxi province, the government of Jincheng city -- where the accident took place -- said in a statement.

So far, 15 people have died and another 19 have been taken to hospital, it said on Saturday, adding the bus had travelled from the neighbouring province of Henan and the exact cause of the accident was still being investigated.

Photographs on the government's news website showed rescuers hauling passengers out of the 50-metre (165-feet) gorge on stretchers, some with blood on their faces, with the bus lying on its side, its windows completely smashed.

China's roads are notoriously dangerous, with traffic laws and safety widely flouted.

Earlier this month at least 28 people were killed and dozens injured in three separate bus crashes that occurred on a single day in southern China.

According to police statistics, around 70,000 people die and 300,000 more are injured in road accidents every year in China, state media have reported.

But the World Health Organisation said in a recent study the true figure was almost twice that number, citing hospital and medical clinic statistics.

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