41 dead in bus fire in central China

16:54, July 22, 2011      

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Photo taken on July 22, 2011 shows the burnt double-deck bus in Xinyang of central China's Henan Province. (Xinhua/Li Bo)

Forty-one people died and six others were injured after an overloaded bus caught fire in Xinyang City, central China's Henan Province, early Friday morning, the deadliest bus incident in years.

A total of 47 people were on board when the 35-seat bus caught fire at 4 a.m. on the Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway. The cause of the blaze is still being investigated, said Zhang Guohui, head of the Henan Provincial Work Safety Administration.

Among the six injured, one person was in critical condition in Zhumadian No. 159 hospital in Zhumadian City, while the other five, including the bus driver, were being treated in a hospital in Xinyang, according to Xinyang municipal police.

The double-decker sleeper bus was on its way from the city of Weihai in eastern Shandong Province to central Hunan's provincial capital Changsha.

The body remains were burned beyond recognition and the deceased will have to be identified by DNA testing, according to police.

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Source: Xinhua
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