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At least 18 killed, 62 injured in bus overturns in Hong Kong

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Rescuers work at the accident site where a double-decker bus overturned in New Territories in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, south China, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo:Xinhua


 

Rescuers transfer an injured person to a hospital after a double-decker bus overturned in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, south China, Feb. 10, 2018.Photo:Xinhua

At least 18 people were killed and 62 injured on Saturday after a double-decker bus overturned in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Authorities said 10 of the injured were in critical condition and 15 were seriously wounded.

Police said the driver was arrested.

The accident happened at around 6:15 p.m. local time (1015 GMT), when a bus on its way to Tai Po from Shatin racecourse toppled to its left on Tai Po Road, New Territories, destroying a bus station on roadside.

Police told Xinhua earlier that 19 people were killed but the death toll was later revised to 18.

Most of the passengers were horse racing fans, as the bus was travelling on a special route for horse racing days.

The bus had been running on high speed before the accident, according to some of the passengers.

Rescuers cut open the top of the bus to save the passengers trapped inside.

The injured have been rushed to hospitals, while the site of the accident has been cordoned off.

Godwin So Wai-kei, general manager of Kowloon Motor Bus Company Limited which the bus belonged to, said the company will offer 80,000 HK dollars (10,256 US dollars) as a condolence allowance for the families of each victim.

The driver of the bus joined the company in 2014. So far there is no sign of fatigue driving when the accident occurred, said the general manager.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the injured in the Prince of Wales Hospital, HKSAR Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she will order an independent inquiry to see whether there are any systemic problems with Hong Kong's bus operations.

She said the commission will be headed by a judge and she expected it to come up with suggestions to ensure Hong Kong's public transport system is reliable and safe.

Lam said the government is "deeply grieved" by the accident.

Various hospitals have set up emergency support stations to help families of the deceased and each affected family will receive support from social workers, she said.

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