Yangmingshan crash leaves 24 injured

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A public bus carrying 34 people, mostly foreign tourists, overturned on a mountain road in Taipei’s Yangmingshan National Park, injuring at least 24, officials said. None of the injuries were life-threatening although a young man from Macau needed an operation on a broken bone, the officials said. Of the injured passengers, five were from Malaysia, three from mainland China, four from Hong Kong, two from Singapore, two from the Philippines and two from the United States, the officials said. The bus was lying on its side after the accident, with its backdoors flipped open, pictures of the accident scene showed. No signs of rain were seen. The Central News Agency cited a witness as saying that the bus probably lost control because of a brake failure. But police said they have yet to determine the cause of the accident. The Route 108 bus was running from Taipei across Yangmingshan to the coastal Jinshan District in New Taipei when it overturned in the popular Lengshuikeng hot-spring area of the mountain at around 2 p.m. The Metropolitan Transport Corp., which owns the crashed bus, said all passengers were insured for accidents, and the company will help them with compensation after the cause of the accident has been determined. Shan Chin-tang, chief secretary at the Taipei City Public Transportation Office (TCPTC), said investigation into the accident is underway. The city will also evaluate the safety of the section of the road where the accident occurred, Shan added. He said his office had dispatched personnel to hospitals to help the injured passengers, and follow-up assistance concerning medical treatment and rehabilitation will be given when necessary.

Taipei City Fire Department dispatched eight ambulances, five fire engines and 28 firefighters to the scene after receiving the report of the crash at 2:26 p.m. All of the passengers and the driver had been able to climb out of the bus, waiting on the roadside for rescue, officials with the fire department said.

A total of 24 passengers, all conscious and mostly slightly injured, were sent to hospital for treatment. The driver and another nine passengers did not need to go to the hospital, said officials. Five of the passengers were sent to the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, whose Vice President Huang Hsin-chang said none of them had sustained life-threatening injuries. Huang said one of them, a 21-year-old man from Macau, needed an operation to treat a broken left humerus. He said the man’s family in Macau had been informed of the accident. A couple from Malaysia sustained bruises and scratches to their backs and chests, Huang said. There were two local passengers among the five, Huang reported, adding that one of them had a slight concussion and sustained a hairline fracture to his right humerus, and the other sustained bruises to his left leg and scratches to the back of the right hand.