Five Taiwanese tourists remained unaccounted for yesterday after a tour bus they were traveling in plunged into a river in China’s Fujian Province, Chinese officials said.
The accident, which occurred at about midday on Friday, killed two other tourists from Taiwan and seriously injured three.
Chinese authorities initially reported that seven Taiwanese were dead, but late on Friday evening changed the number to two confirmed dead and five still missing.
The bus, carrying 26 people — 24 of them from Taiwan — crashed into the Jiulong River (九龍江) in Zhangzhou City in rainy conditions. Twenty-one people were pulled from the wreckage and the river’s muddy water. Nineteen of them, including the driver, survived.
An official working for the Zhangzhou City Taiwan Affairs Office told the Central News Agency by telephone that as of 1pm yesterday, search-and-rescue efforts were still being carried out.
The local government has reported that teams consisting of about 2,100 civilian and military personnel and 134 vessels have taken part in the rescue effort.
Officials from the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association Shanghai Branch Office are at the scene to assist the injured people and their families.
The tour group, organized by Taiwanese travel agency Life Tour (五福旅行社), departed on Thursday from Taipei to Xiamen in Fujian via Kinmen. It was scheduled to return today, the Tourism Bureau said, citing information provided by Life Tour.