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30 killed as China bus plunges over cliff: govt


china mapThirty people died on Friday when a bus apparently plunged off a cliff in China, officials said, in the latest deadly traffic incident in the country.

The accident in Chunhua county, in the northern province of Shaanxi, killed 25 people on the scene with another five dying later from their injuries, local authorities said on a verified microblog account.

Pictures posted online, which could not be immediately verified, showed a white bus on its side at the bottom of a steep, partially-forested red cliff.

Other bus passengers were being treated for injuries and the cause of the crash was being investigated, county authorities said.

Fatal road accidents are a serious problem in China, where traffic regulations are often flouted.

More than 200,000 people are killed on China’s notoriously dangerous roads every year, the World Health Organisation said this month.

Government data for road deaths in China are shrouded in secrecy, like many statistics in the country, and the WHO figures are strikingly higher than official pronouncements.

The most recent figures available from the ministry of transport, cited by a vice-minister at a forum, said 60,000 people were killed on the roads in 2012.

In August last year, a tour bus plunged into a valley in Tibet after hitting two vehicles, leaving 44 people dead and 11 injured.

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