Death toll rises to 16 in NW China bus crash

2013-02-02 11:11:46 GMT2013-02-02 19:11:46(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LANZHOU, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers have recovered two more bodies from the scene of a bus accident in northwest China's Gansu Province, bringing the death toll to 16, local firefighters said Saturday.

The two bodies were found after six others were retrieved earlier in the day amid a new round of search and rescue efforts, according to the rescue headquarters at the scene.

Rescuers retrieved six bodies shortly after the accident in which a bus fell into a ravine and caught fire around 10 p.m. Friday near the county seat of Ningxian, Qingyang City, according to sources with the Gansu provincial government.

Thirty-four people injured in the accident were hospitalized, and two of them died in the hospital after rescue efforts failed.

The bus, carrying mostly migrant farmers and their family members, veered off the road at a curve, before tumbling into the ravine that is more than 10 meters deep and catching fire, sources said.

The bus had a loading capacity of 47 people, and a total of 54 were onboard when it departed Langfang City in north China's Hebei Province, according to the provincial emergency response office.

One of the injured passengers, Shi Xiaobo, recalled that the bus dashed into the ravine while attempting to make a turn around the curve.

Some passengers were thrown out of the bus as it tumbled down the ravine, Shi said, adding that others scrambled to escape before the bus caught fire.

He said about seven children were onboard the overloaded bus. Their conditions are not yet known.

Rescuers are attempting to lift the wreckage to determine whether more bodies are beneath it.

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