24 tourists die as flames sweep through crashed Taiwan guide bus

A Taiwan tour bus carrying tourists from China crashed into a highway railing en route to the airport on Tuesday and burst into flames, killing all 26 on board, Taiwanese authorities said. The bus was carrying 24 tourists on an eight-day tour organised by a travel agency in China’s north-eastern province of Liaoning. The driver and the tour guide, both from Taiwan, were also killed. The cause of the fire was unclear and is under investigation. Images showed a police officer and a passer-by trying to tackle the rapidly-spreading blaze with small fire extinguishers but without making much impact.

The fire moved very fast. All 26 died.

Lu Jui-yao, with the National Highway Police Bureau

Taiwan’s cabinet spokesman, Tung Chen-yuan, said government officials dealing with tourism and China affairs had reached out to their mainland counterparts and that they would help arrange for relatives of the victims to come to Taiwan. The passengers were on their way to Taoyuan, the island’s main airport just south of the capital Taipei, for their flight back to China when the accident happened.