Four people have died and another 15 were injured yesterday when a Taiwanese tour group was caught in a bus accident in northeastern China.  

The 19 people (18 tourists and a Taiwanese guide), were on a bus traveling on the Changchun-Julin Expressway as part of a tour organized by Lion Travel yesterday. At about 2:30 p.m., while trying to dodge a vehicle cutting in from an adjacent lane, the bus turned over and rolled down a three-meter slope, about 440-kilometer from Changchun.

Four Taiwanese tourists, 42-year-old Lu Hui-yu (呂惠玉, female), 62-year-old Chao Cho (趙灼, female), 42-year-old Liu Hsiu-yun (廖秀雲, female) and 24-year-old Wang Min-wei (王明瑋, male), died in the crash, according to Vincent Lin (林承曄), spokesperson and deputy general manager of Lion Travel yesterday.

The other 15 wounded were sent to The First Hospital of Jilin University in China for treatment.

Mainland media cited police as saying that 21 people — 18 Taiwanese tourists, the Taiwanese tour guide, one mainland tour guide and the driver — were inside the tour bus, a 39-seater registered to a Heilongjiang Jun Tai Transportation Co. (黑龍江軍泰運輸有限公司), at the time of the accident. As of press time, it was unclear whether the injured were all Taiwanese nationals.

Deadliest Accident in Ten Years

The bus crash is the most fatal accident involving Taiwanese tourists in the mainland in a decade, according to statistics by Taiwan's Tourism Bureau.

Reports varied on the seriousness of injuries sustained by the other 15 tourists. Earlier reports by local news outlets including the Central News Agency and TVBS said that the surviving tourists suffered only from minor injuries.

TVBS reported that the 15 were scheduled to return to Taiwan today. Later reports on the Liberty Times' website and by the CNA painted a graver picture. The news outlets cited mainland reports as describing the injuries of five as “relatively serious but not life-threatening.”

The First Hospital of Jilin University has sent a 15-member medical team to provide one-on-one treatment to the injured. Lion Travel's senior mainland official have set off for Jilin, the travel agency's spokesperson said yesterday. Lion Travel Deputy General Manager Stone Chen (陳碧松) was scheduled to fly with family members of the victims from Taiwan to Jilin today. Jilin's Vice Governor Chan Weigen (陳偉根) visited the victims at the hospital yesterday. Jilin province party secretary Sun Zhengcai (孫政才) ordered all relevant parties handle medical treatment and other follow up matters relating to the accident with utmost effort.

The 18 tourists were on the sixth day of an eight-day northeast China trip when the accident occurred, Lin said.

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