26 confirmed dead in last week's road accident in central China

08:33, July 11, 2011      

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Police in central China's Hubei Province confirmed on Sunday that 26 people aboard a bus and a truck had died after a rear-end collision on July 4.

Initially 23 people were believed dead as some of the bodies were severely burnt and difficult to identify, a spokesman with the Hubei Expressway Traffic Police Headquarter said, adding that 29 others were injured in the accident.

The spokesman said the death toll was confirmed after a survey and DNA identification.

The accident occurred at about 3:50 a.m. on Monday after a long-distance passenger coach was rear-ended by a truck on the Xiantao section of the Suizhou-Yueyang expressway.

Both vehicles crashed through the guardrails of the expressway and caught fire.

Initial investigations showed that the accident was caused by illegal road-side parking and drowsy driving.

Investigators said the coach driver illegally stopped the vehicle on an emergency driveway as a passenger asked to get off on the expressway, and the truck, with a fatigued driver behind the wheel, hit the bus at high speed.

Source: Xinhua
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