A tour bus carrying 38 Chinese tourists caught fire yesterday afternoon when driving on the Alishan Highway, slightly injuring two people and causing one other to have a heart attack.
According to the Tourism Bureau, the accident occurred at about 3:55pm at the 38.5km milestone. The two injured Chinese tourists were identified as 62-year-old woman Tieh Yen (鐵燕) and 61-year-old woman Li Fongzhi (李鳳芝). Meanwhile, 68-year-old woman Chang Hsiurong (張秀榮) had a heart attack and was taken to a hospital in Chiayi County for treatment.
The bureau also said that the Chinese tourists are from Beijing and belong to a Taiwan’s Jubilant Travel Service tour group. The tour bus was manufactured in 2010 and was inspected by the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) four months ago.
The DGH said that the bus driver had noticed something different about the bus and hit the brakes after he heard a loud bang. He then found that the right wheel at the back of the bus was on fire and quickly evacuated all the passengers.
The driver quickly put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, so no casualties were reported, the DGH said.
In other developments, seven national scenic areas have been asked to improve marine safety following the rogue wave accident that killed eight people earlier this month.
The bureau said the North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area as well as scenic areas on the northeast coast, the east coast, the southwest coast, Dapeng Bay, Penghu and Matsu have been given guidelines to improve marine safety. Representatives from these scenic areas are to meet with the Central Weather Bureau on Monday to discuss the viability of establishing an alert system for rogue waves.
The national scenic areas would also install more life-saving equipment, warning signs and surveillance systems, the bureau added.