Four Taiwanese tourists died and 15 were injured in a bus accident while traveling in northeastern China yesterday.
The Tourism Bureau said the tour group, organized by Taiwan’s Lion Travel Service Co (雄獅旅行社), left Taiwan on Wednesday last week for an eight-day visit to Changbai Mountain in Jilin Province, the Yalu River in -Liaoning Province and other historic sites from the Qing dynasty.
The bureau said the group was scheduled to travel from Jilin City to Changchun yesterday afternoon. The tour bus, which was carrying 18 tourists and a Taiwanese team leader, drove off a 3m embankment on the side of the Changji Freeway after it swerved to avoid hitting a smaller bus that had inappropriately changed lanes at about 2:30pm, the bureau said.
The travel agency confirmed that three of the victims — Lu Huei-yu (呂惠玉), 42, Chao Chuo (趙灼), 62, and Liao Hsiu-yun (廖秀雲), 42 — were women.
Lu and Chao were from Hsinchu City, while Liao was from Greater Taichung, the bureau said.
Twenty-four-year-old Wang Ming-wei (王明瑋) from Taipei was the fourth person killed, the agency said.
Lion Travel Service spokesperson Lin Cheng-yeh (林承曄) said even though the 15 other passengers appeared to have sustained minor injuries, it had arranged for them to stay in a hospital for further examinations.
The Tourism Bureau said the travel agency had dispatched both its Chinese representative and one of its managers from Taiwan to handle the emergency, adding that one of the company’s managers would also accompany family members of the victims to China today.
The bureau’s office in Beijing has also dispatched a representative to Changchun to assist the tourists, it said.