11 Vietnamese tourists injured in expressway traffic accident

A coach carrying 26 tourists from Vietnam collided with an unladen container truck on an expressway in Northern Taiwan on Oct. 06, 2017, leaving the driver and 11 passengers injured. (CNA)

Taipei (CNA) – A coach carrying 26 tourists from Vietnam collided with an unladen container truck on an expressway in northern Taiwan Friday, leaving the driver and 11 passengers injured, although none critically, firefighters at the scene said.

The accident occurred at the 7.1-kilometer mark on the eastbound lanes of Provincial Highway 62, also called the Ruibin Expressway, that connects Keelung and New Taipei’s Ruifang District.

The tour bus, with a total of 28 people aboard, including the Taiwanese driver, hit the truck from behind, smashing the front of the coach and trapping the 53-year-old driver, police and firefighters said.

The Keelung City Fire Department dispatched eight ambulances, three firetrucks and 24 firefighters to the scene. The driver, surnamed Chen (陳), was rescued from his cab and rushed to a nearby hospital.

Chen, who was conscious upon arrival at the hospital, suffered bone fractures to his hip, vertebrae and one of his toes.

Meanwhile, 11 Vietnamese tourists who suffered moderate injuries were taken to two different hospitals for treatment, the firefighters said, noting that the rest of the passengers were escorted by police to the hotel in which they were staying in Taipei’s Wanhua District.

Firefighter Ku Chih-hua (古芝華) said there was no smell of alcohol when Chen was rescued and that the cause of the accident had not yet been determined.

One of the Vietnamese passengers told CNA that the coach did not seem to be traveling at excessive speed and that the driver did not appear to have dozed off when the collision occurred. 

By Wang Chao-yu and Elizabeth Hsu