Taiwan – ‘At Least 26 Dead’ After Coach Smashes Into Airport Guardrail & Explodes
At least 26 people are dead after a tourist bus smashed into a motorway guardrail in Taiwan and exploded into flames, it is reported.
The vehicle was travelling along an airport expressway in the island’s Taoyuan region when it crashed into the railing and caught fire
Everyone onboard died, including at least 24 holidaymakers, the driver and the tour guide, according to Chinese media and officials.
Dramatic photos of the scene show the bus parked at the side of the expressway, surrounded by raging flames and thick black smoke.
Several men can be seen desperately trying to extinguish the blaze with small extinguishers as they wait for firefighters to arrive.
The cause of the smash is currently unclear.
The tourists who died were on an eight-day tour organised by a travel agency in China’s northeastern province of Liaoning, officials said.
The bus was travelling to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at around 1pm local time (6am UK time) when it crashed, it is reported.
The vehicle burst into flames after hitting the guardrail on the No 2 national highway, according to the island’s Central News Agency.
“The fire moved very fast. All 26 died,” Lu Jui-yao, an official with the National Highway Police Bureau, told reporters.
Taiwan is a popular destination for mainland tourists, who provide a major source of tourism revenue for the island.
Taiwan’s cabinet spokesman, Tung Chen-yuan, said government officials dealing with tourism and China affairs had reached out to their mainland counterparts.
He added that they would help arrange for relatives of the victims to come to Taiwan.
The crash comes months after four British tourists were seriously injured when their bus was involved in a collision in Switzerland.
The vehicle was travelling back from Italy, between the towns of Sempach and Sursee near the city of Lucerne, at the time.
It became involved in the four-lorry accident after a truck carrying tar allegedly tried to turn into a construction site.