Mon, Feb 26, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Bus accident kills three, stalls traffic in Yunlin County

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC The National Freeway Bureau said that traffic on the last day of the Lunar New Year ran smoothly apart from the Yunlin accident

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Northbound traffic on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway was stalled for two hours yesterday morning, as a southbound Ho Hsin Bus slid into the northbound lane and collided with a caravan.

Three passengers died in the accident and two were injured. The accident led to a 5km backup starting at Dounan (斗南) in Yunlin County.

Traffic was back to normal by noon after the wreckage had been removed.

The accident happened on the last day of the Lunar New Year Holiday, when heavy traffic was expected on all the national freeways.

However, according to the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau, the traffic yesterday ran smoothly. They calculated that approximately 210,000 vehicles used the national freeways between 12am and 6am, twice as many as on the regular days.

As of press time, an accumulated 1.19 million vehicles had operated on the freeways yesterday, which was only slightly higher than on a regular day.

The bureau also said that while the speedlimit on the Chiang Wei-shui Freeway is 60kph, other freeways have an 80kph speedlimit.

The bureau added that since the Lunar New Year Holiday this year lasted nine days, many travelers had planned to return early.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) said that domestic airlines had agreed over the weekend to increase flights in order to transport passengers stranded at Kinmen airport back to Taiwan proper.

More than 100 passengers were forced to spend the night at the airport in Kinmen on Saturday before being able to secure a seat on an additional flight.

The airline companies agreed to dispatch five additional flights on Saturday to transport 658 passengers back to Taipei and to Taichung.

The last flight on Saturday arrived at Songshan Airport at around 11:30pm.

An additional flight was also arranged yesterday morning to transport remaining passengers in Kinmen back to Taiwan.

CAA officials indicated that a majority of passengers were returning from the small three links in Kinmen.

Many passengers preferred to be put on the immediate waiting list than to book a later returning date, they said.

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