Death toll rises to 13 after bus plunges into river in NE China

08:21, June 01, 2010      

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Rescuers recovered two more bodies Monday, bringing the death toll to 13 after a bus plunged into a river in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province a week ago.

Rescuers are continuing to search for six people still missing.

The two bodies have been identified as Cheng Chunmiao, an 8-year-old girl, and Lu Zhanxiang, a 56-year-old man. They were villagers from Qinlao Township of Qing'an County, according to rescuers.

A bus carrying 22 people plunged into the Hulan River in Qing'an County at 3:00 p.m. on May 23 when it was being driven on to a ferry. Three people aboard, including the driver, were rescued unharmed.

Operators of the illegal ferry service were blamed for the accident. Ferry staff failed to unload all the bus passengers before the vehicle went onboard, breaking transport regulations.

Gu Chunfeng, the operator, has been detained for allegedly operating the illegal ferry service.



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