A Taiwanese tourist coach carrying 24 tourists from China caught fire on a highway near Taoyuan airport on Tuesday, all 26 people on board were killed, including the driver and tour guide, both from Taiwan.
Surveillance footage shot at 12:57 p.m. earlier today shows the bus driving out of control down a highway with its front already on fire. The bus ends up crashing into a guard rail.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but it is suspected that the blaze orginiated in the machinery or wiring at the front end of the vehicle, Apple Daily reports.
The tourist bus was also said to be properly equipped with fire extinguishers and eight emergency exits, including doors and windows. However, the two main doors of the bus were blocked by the guard rail and none of the 26 passengers managed to make it out of the burning bus.
Drivers of other vehicles pulled over and tried to put out the fire and break the windows, but unfortunately without much success. A Liberty Times report cites police as saying that 9 bodies were found crowded near the back door after the blaze was extinguished.
The tourists on board were all from Liaoning Province, scheduled to fly home in the afternoon after an eight-day trip. Three of the passengers were children, the youngest aged 12.
According to Apple Daily, this is by far the deadliest traffic accident in the history of Taiwan, along with an accident on Suhua highway in 2010 that also killed 26 people, again including tourists from China.
By Victor Fung
[Images via Facebook // Video via YouTube]