(Warning: gallery contains graphic imagery) 41 passengers perished in a bus fire that occurred outside of Xinyang city (信阳) in Henan province at approximately 4am today. 47 passengers were on board an overcrowded double-decker overnight bus designed to seat 35, with the six survivors all having suffered burns to various degrees. At least one survivor is in a critical condition at a nearby hospital.
The bus in question was traveling south from Weihai (威海) in Shandong to the Hunan capital of Changsha (长沙) on the Beijing-Zhuhai expressway. The bus began its journey filled to capacity, but eventually took on more passengers along its route. The fire reportedly began at the back of the bus, with survivors recalling they heard loud banging noises coinciding with the fire occurring.
Investigators are currently seeking to determine the cause of the fire and establish the identities of the dead, suggesting the possibility that the severity of the fire was due to explosives or other flammable materials being stored on board the bus.
We are struggling to conceive of the unimaginable terror that occurred, and expect basic safety issues like overcrowding and regular maintenance to be taken seriously now, as a result of this devastating accident.
Photos and information from ifeng and Sohu