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Wreckage salvaged after coach plunge kills 16 in central China

(Xinhua)

12:19, October 04, 2011

YICHANG, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The coach wreckage was retrieved out of water on Monday after the coach plunged into a ravine in central China's Hubei Province Saturday afternoon, leaving at least 16 people dead and another 19 injured.

No more casualties were found inside the wreckage when it was lifted out of water in the county of Xingshan County, Yichang City, rescuers said.

According to the GPS system loaded on the coach, the speed of the coach was 40 km per hour at 2:37 p.m. before it was found disappeared from the positioning system.

Some passengers were saved as they were thrown out of the damaged coach before its plunge, local witnesses said.

Zhang Xinzhen, chairperson of the coach owner Jiuzhou Tour Coach Company of Jingzhou City, said as the driver was on board with his families and friends for private picnic, the passenger list was not known by the company.

According to a passenger list provided by the local, the victims includes one person from Macao Special Administrative Region and one from Brunei. Such list has not been verified by official authorities yet.

The coach, with 35 people on board, plunged into the river dozens of meters below the highway.

Fourteen people were killed at the scene and two died later in hospital. Among the injured, eight were in serious condition.

Further investigation is under way.

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