A tour bus carrying 22 Chinese tourists and a Taiwanese tour guide crashed into a house while driving past New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) yesterday morning, killing the driver and destroying half of the building.
The tourists and the tour guide were unharmed.
According to the Tourism Bureau, the tourists are from China’s Jilin Province and are clients of Taipei-based Huanyu International Travel Service (環遊國際旅行社).
They arrived on Sunday and were on the second day of their tour of Taiwan, it said.
The accident occurred at 10:05am, when the group was on its way to Keelung after visiting the Yehliu Geopark in Wanli District.
The driver, surnamed Chen (陳), crashed into a house on Gangdong Road for reasons yet unknown, the bureau said.
Chen had no vital signs when he arrived at the hospital and could not be resuscitated, the New Taipei City Fire Department said.
Tourism Bureau data showed that the tour bus belongs to Bao Tai Transport Co (寶泰通運) and was manufactured in 2014.
The bureau said the travel agency arranged for the Chinese tourists to board another bus and assigned a new tour guide following the accident, adding that the group would continue the tour until Sunday.
Chen had a valid license to operate a large passenger vehicle and was registered as a tour bus driver in January, the Directorate-General of Highways said.
Chen’s record showed he had paid all his traffic fines, the agency said, without revealing details of the violations.
The accident happened less than one month after 33 people were killed in a tour bus accident on Feb. 13 on the Chiang Wei-shui Freeway (Freeway No. 5) near Taipei’s Nangang District (南港).
The travel agency involved in last month’s accident was accused of overworking tour bus drivers.
Travel Quality Assurance Association chairman Hsu Chin-jui (許晉睿) said the travel agency should be held accountable when an accident happens, adding that people planning tours should remember that travel agencies are consumers too.
“Travel agencies need to find tour buses and drivers, restaurants and hotels, which are regulated by different government agencies. If these agencies have done their job in regulating various components of the tour, we would feel assured when we choose them. They cannot expect travel agencies to single-handedly improve the quality of tours,” Hsu said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,