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Forty-four dead in tour bus accident in Tibet

Rescuers worked around an overturned tour bus after it fell off a cliff in Tibet. Photo courtesy Associated Press
Rescuers worked around an overturned tour bus after it fell off a cliff in Tibet. (Photo courtesy Associated Press)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug11, 2014) –Forty-four people died and 11 others were injured when a tour bus crashed into an SUV and a pickup truck and plunged down a 10-metre cliff in in Nyemo County, about 90 kilometres (60 miles) from Tibet’s capital Lhasa, on Aug 9, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 9. Most, if not all, the 50 passengers in the 55-people capacity tour bus were Chinese, mainly from Anhui, Shanghai, Shandong and Hebei.

There were no other foreigners among the passengers, AP Aug 9 cited Lhasa-based Shengdi Vehicle Tour Company, which operated the tour bus, as saying. There were four people in the SUV and one in the pickup trick, although it was not clear whether they were among the dead.

Xinhua photos showed the bus lying upside down under a walled cliff near a river. The report said police had detained managers of the Feixiang Travel Agency and the Shengdi Vehicle Tour Company blamed for the accident.

The road where the crash occurred had a massive landslide earlier in the week, covering a 280-meter (yard) stretch in debris, AP cited China’s weather services as showing.

China has been promoting tourism as a pillar industry in the Tibet Autonomous Region, especially targeting tourists from China, who are not subjected to the kind of onerous controls and restrictions that other foreigners as well as local Tibetans are routinely subjected to.

Xinhua said the regional government held an emergency meeting after the accident, ordering a general overhaul of road safety and travel safety across the region to avoid similar fatal accidents.

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