Dozens killed in China bus fire | News | DW | 07.06.2013
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Dozens killed in China bus fire

A bus fire in southeast China has killed dozens of people, state media has reported. The blaze occurred during the evening rush hour in the port city of Xiamen, in Fujian province.

At least 38 people were killed and more than 30 injured Friday when an express bus "burst into flames," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Images on the Xinhua's website showed all that remained of the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) vehicle was a heavily burnt-out shell. Survivors were shown bleeding with torn clothes and burnt skin.

A local fire official who only gave his surname, Sun, said bodies were piled up inside the bus and that the cause of the incident was being investigated.

Witnesses said ambulances took away "many injured people from the site, Xinhua reported. One passenger told Xinhua she smelled gasoline before the fire spread through the bus.

Operations on the entire BRT system were suspended after the blaze, Xinhua said.

The BRT networks operate in many of China's heavily congested cities and provide faster service by using specially designated public transport roads.

Many buses in China's urban transit network are crowded with sitting and standing passengers.

More than 62,000 people died in traffic accidents in 2011, state media said citing police figures.

Last August at least 36 people died when a double-decker sleeper bus crashed into a methanol tanker and caught fire. It was China's worst traffic accident in over a year.

In 2009, an unemployed man set fire to a crowded bus in Chengdu, killing himself and 26 others.

dr/rc (AP, AFP)

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