TAIWAN-BUS-ACCIDENT
Wreckage of the crashed bus being lifted by cranes, overnight in Taipei on Feb. 14, 2017.  Sam Yeh—AFP/Getty Images

Investigators Say Speed May Have Been a Factor in Taiwan Bus Crash That Killed 33

Feb 14, 2017

Authorities in Taiwan are investigating what caused the island's worst highway accident in 30 years, after a bus carrying a tour group of mainly senior citizens crashed Monday, killing at least 33 people.

Dashboard camera footage captured by a nearby car suggests that the bus lost control at the exit ramp of a highway near the capital Taipei and flipped over, reports Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA).

Of the 44 people on board, 30 were proclaimed dead at the scene, including the driver and tour guide, while three others died in hospital. Eleven people were injured, according to CNA.

Speed and driver fatigue are being looked into as possible factors leading to the crash, according to the Associated Press. The speed limit of the ramp was 40 kph (25 mph), although it was not clear how fast the bus was traveling. Highway police spokesperson Ma Ling-wen said speed has not been ruled out as a cause of the accident.

The South China Morning Post reports that driver fatigue is also being considered as a possible factor in the crash, as the tour group involved in the accident was reportedly on a tight same-day return schedule.

The group was returning from a day tour viewing cherry blossoms at a central Taiwanese farm when the bus crashed, reports CNA. All of the deceased were reported as Taiwan nationals.

The crash is Taiwan's deadliest highway accident in three decades. In October 1986, 42 people were killed in Taiwan when a tour bus plunged into a ravine from a winding highway. And in July last year, a tour bus carrying mainland Chinese tourists burned down after crashing on a highway near Taipei's main airport, killing all 26 onboard.

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