26 people died after a tour bus got on fire on highway near Taipei

A tour bus carrying visitors from China has caught fire on a busy highway near Taiwan’s capital, killing all 26 people on board, reports The Guardian.

The accident took place on the No 2 national highway in Taoyuan county, south of Taipei, where the island’s international airport is located, the county’s fire and rescue service said.

It said 24 of those on board were visitors from Liaoning province who had been scheduled to fly home on Tuesday afternoon. The others killed were the driver and a tour guide, both Taiwanese.

The website of Taiwan’s China Times said no one aboard made it off the burning bus, and that many of the bodies had been badly charred.

There was no official word on the cause of the fire, although Taiwan’s official Central News Agency and others reported that the bus apparently burst into flames after spinning out of control and smashing into the highway’s guard rail. However, the exact sequence of events was not immediately clear.

Photos from the scene showed flames and thick black smoke pouring from the front of the bus after the crash.

Thirteen firefighting vehicles and 30 firefighters were sent to the scene, but the fire apparently spread too rapidly, and once the flames were extinguished, the vehicle was heavily blackened from one end to the other.

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