Tour bus crash kills one
A tour bus carrying tourists from Singapore rammed into a car on a highway in Wanli (萬里), Taipei County, yesterday morning, killing one and injuring seven others, the Taipei County fire department said. The Taiwanese bus driver was killed instantly, while seven passengers were slightly injured in the accident. The injured were sent to a hospital in Kinshan (金山), Taipei County, said firefighters who rushed to the scene in response to emergency calls. The bus was on its way from Keelung City to the scenic coastal village of Yeliou (野柳) when it slammed into the side of the car.
Endangered ferns bred
The Taiwan Forestry Research Institute has successfully bred two endemic endangered fern species, earning worldwide acclaim. The institute made the announcement on Tuesday after six years of research on the reproduction of the two species, Archangiopteris somai Hayata and Archangiopteris itoi Shieh. The two species can be dated back 180 million years and are endemic to Taiwan, the institute said. There are fewer than 1,000 Archangiopteris somai Hayata remaining, while Archangiopteris itoi Shieh numbers less than 100 specimens, it said.
Skin infections strike
Members of the public who observe Tomb Sweeping Day, on which it is customary to pay homage to one's ancestors, should take precautions to guard against skin infections, a dermatologist in Taichung cautioned. Chen Chun-yi (陳駿逸), who runs a skin clinic, told reporters that the number of patients he and his colleagues had treated in the past few days had increased 30 percent, with most suffering from infections resulting from getting sunburns or being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects while visiting tombs. Failing to protect themselves against insects and the sun, many people contracted acute skin infections, developed rashes all over their bodies and suffered from headaches, had difficulty breathing, and experienced excessive perspiration and localized lymphadenitis. Chen said this month was a period when mosquitoes and other insects thrived.
Officer demoted for prank
A naval officer has been demoted for pulling an April Fool's Day joke on three soldiers by summoning them back to camp during their holidays for an "emergency," a newspaper said yesterday. The incident occurred on Sunday, April Fools' Day, at a fishing port sentry in Tamsui, the Apple Daily said. The sentry is manned by solders from the navy's Coast Guard Administration (CGA). On Sunday, three solders manning the sentry had just returned to their Taipei homes for a four-day Tomb Sweeping Day vacation when Lieutenant Chan Wei-sung (詹偉松) summoned them back to the camp citing an "emergency." In the telephone call, Chan said a soldier's cellphone had been stolen and the CGA had sent a probe team to the sentry to investigate the theft. But when the three solders rushed back to the sentry, a smiling Chan had lined up the other soldiers to welcome the trio with "Happy April Fool's Day!" "It was such a stupid joke and we felt cheated. There is nothing funny about it," the Apple Daily quoted one soldier as saying. Chan has removed from his command at the fishing port sentry.