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Death toll from Hong Kong bus crash rises to 6

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 18, 2019
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Death toll from the bus crash in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday afternoon has risen to six after a female succumbed to her injury, according to local authorities.

A double-decker bus owned by the Kowloon Motor Bus Company crashed into a tree at 4:18 p.m. local time on Fanling Highway in Sheung Shui area. The police told Xinhua that three males and two females were confirmed dead on the spot and one female passenger died at North District Hospital.

A total of 39 people were injured, including two children at the age of three and 12, and six of them still in serious conditions, according to local media. Live streaming showed that a rescue operation is underway and 27 ambulances, 15 fire trucks and 213 fire fighters were mobilized for the mission.

The bus was seriously damaged with the left side of the body almost totally destroyed and seats on the upper deck were exposed to the outside.

Passengers' belongings and parts of the bus were scattered on the site and part of the bus roof was stuck on the tree.

A male passenger said he did not realize the crash until he heard a loud bang and noticed it became very bright in the bus. "People were screaming and several passengers were thrown out of the bus. I was very scared."

The Transport Department of the HKSAR government said it has asked the driver to submit a report about the accident as soon as possible.

"It is understood that the police will conduct a thorough investigation, including the detainment of the bus involved for a detailed vehicle examination. The Transport Department will closely liaise with the police to learn the examination results and follow up accordingly," the Transport Department said.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving causing death.

According to the Kowloon Motor Bus Company, the driver of the bus, 56, has been working for 18 years. The result of a physical examination in September showed that the driver is in good health. The five-year-old bus passed vehicle inspections on Tuesday.

The police will conduct a thorough investigation.

In response to the accident, various District Offices have set up inter-departmental help desks for assistance and public enquiries.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by such an accident and we mourn over the victims and express our condolences to their families and the injured," Xu Luying, the spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said in a statement at night.

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR has expressed deep condolences to the victims in the accident and sincere solicitude to their bereaved families and the injured. The office will provide all possible facilitation and assistance based on the needs of the HKSAR government, said a statement.

HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she was shocked and saddened by the serious bus accident and expressed her condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims.

She has instructed relevant departments including the Social Welfare Department and the Home Affairs Department, together with the Hospital Authority, to provide all appropriate assistance to the injured people as well as family members of the victims.

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