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Mainland prepared to handle Taiwan bus accident aftermath

(Xinhua)    20:57, July 20, 2016

BEIJING, July 20 -- The State Council Taiwan Affairs Office Wednesday issued a statement saying relevant mainland authorities will do their utmost to handle the aftermath of a serious bus accident in Taiwan.

According to the statement, Premier Li Keqianghas ordered relevant authorities to follow the situation and handle the aftermath properly.

The State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, National Tourism Administration and provincial government of Liaoning, where the majority of victims are from, initiated an emergency response and contacted the families of victims.

They also kept contacts with Taiwan authorities through emergency liaison channels and started preparations to send a working team to Taiwan, according to the statement.

Mainland officials from various departments, including the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits, left for Taiwan from Beijing Wednesday noon to assist families of victims.

A work team dispatched by the Liaoning provincial government is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan Wednesday evening.

The statement also said relevant Taiwan authorities should find the cause of the accident and determine accountability as soon as possible to defend the rights and interests of victims. They should also effectively boost safety management, eliminate safety hazards and guarantee the safety of tourists.

Chen Deming, president of the Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), said he was "shocked" and saddened by the bus accident.

Chen said ARATS will do its utmost to handle the aftermath.

Twenty-six people were killed when a tour bus caught fire on a highway near Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan on Tuesday. They included 23 tourists and a tour guide from the Chinese mainland, a local tour guide, and a local driver.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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