By Beth Main.
13 people were killed in a bus crash in Taiwan’s Hsinchu county on Sunday afternoon after a brake failure. The bus carrying a driver and 22 tourists from New Taipei City plunged 300 meters into a ravine after veering off the road. Another 10 passengers were injured in the accident near Qalang Smangus.
The Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office sent three prosecutors to interview injured passengers and witnesses, a report is due in two weeks time. Prosecutors will determine the cause of the accident after reviewing testimonies and evidence, including video footage from a vehicle’s on-board camera.
The Enjoy Holiday Travel Agency, the tour company that organised the bus, stated that they only hire experienced drivers in accordance with government regulations. The agency has dispatched a team to assist with tending to victims and their families.
County officials and police officers are considering drafting regulations to limit the passage of medium-sized buses. The very next day after the Hsinchu crash, 16 people were injured in a similar bus crash. A tour bus carrying tourists from Singapore and Malaysia suffered a brake failure and overturned after hitting a rock wall on the Alishan highway in Central Taiwan. Four people sustained fractures and went into surgery, while twelve escaped with only minor injuries.
Driver Wang Chih-chieh said the brakes failed on a downhill section of the highway when he braked to let a car pass. Other drivers stopped to aid the tour bus. According to the driver, the bus was a 2001 vehicle that had new brakes installed in November.