China bus crash leaves at least 38 dead

Van carrying flammable liquids hit back of passenger coach triggering fire and explosion

Firefighters and policemen work next to a burnt-out bus after an explosion and a fire following a crash on the Hukun (Shanghai to Kunming) highway in Shaoyang, Hunan province today. At least 38 people were killed. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters.

Firefighters and policemen work next to a burnt-out bus after an explosion and a fire following a crash on the Hukun (Shanghai to Kunming) highway in Shaoyang, Hunan province today. At least 38 people were killed. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters.

 

At least 38 people were killed in a collision between a bus and a van carrying flammable liquids in southern China, state media reported today, the latest in a string of crashes that have fuelled anger over unsafe transport.

The crash in Hunan province happened in the early hours of today when the van drove into the back of the passenger coach, triggering a fire and explosion, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Five people were injured, including four with severe burns, and five vehicles were destroyed.

Last week, 11 people were killed, including eight children, when a school bus crashed into a reservoir in Hunan.

A series of crashes in recent years involving vehicles carrying school children have made such incidents a sensitive issue, particularly in China’s rural areas where roads are often poorly maintained.

Reuters