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Traffic resumes, truck driver detained after deadly highway crash in C China

(Xinhua)

09:38, January 05, 2012

CHANGSHA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Traffic on the Shanghai-Kunming Expressway has resumed after a deadly collision between a heavy-duty truck and a coach occurred on Tuesday morning in central China's Hunan province.

The badly damaged vehicles have been pulled away from the scene of the accident and debris has been cleared away from the roads. The guardrail has been repaired and signs have been set up to warn motorists, said Shi Xixin, deputy mayor of the city of Huaihua.

According to local police, one of the truck's drivers was badly injured and receiving medical treatment in hospital, and the other has been detained.

The police also said there were a total of 54 passengers on board the coach when the accident happened.

Nine people died at the scene and another four died on the way to hospital, said a spokesman for the local government.

Meanwhile, nine people were badly injured, and another 32 passengers sustained minor injuries.

Three of the nine badly injured people were in critical conditions and not yet out of danger, according to doctors from the No. 1 People's Hospital and No. 3 People's Hospital of Huaihua, where they were being treated.

The accident occurred at 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday in Zhongfang county when the truck smashed through a guardrail and crashed into a coach driving on the opposite side of the expressway.

The truck was loaded with large tires measuring over one meter in diameter, said Su Ze, who participated in the rescue and repair work immediately after the accident.

"The road was wet because of a light rain, and the driver was not alert enough to be cautious. The driving speed would not been that fast if it were a heavy rain," said Su.

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