Bus driver was speeding, say injured tourists

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 February, 2011, 12:00am

A Hong Kong tourist who suffered a broken pelvis when a tour bus crashed in Shandong at the weekend says the driver was going too fast and weaving across the road before the incident.

'We asked [the driver] to slow down but he did not seem to bother,' she said. 'He kept driving very fast, and I felt the coach start to zigzag. Shortly afterwards, it crashed.'

The woman is recovering in a mainland hospital. Two people on the bus suffered more serious injuries.

So far 14 of the 30 people on the tour, run by Wing On Travel, who suffered minor injuries have made their way back to Hong Kong.

The accident happened at about 3pm on Saturday as the group, which had just landed in Qingdao , was travelling on the bus to the city of Weifang , which has been called the world capital of kites.

The 175 kilometre drive should take about 21/2 hours. But about an hour into the journey, the bus crashed into a pit between two road sections on a highway, injuring all 30 tour members and their Hong Kong guide.

Another tour member also said she felt the driver was going very fast.

But their allegation was disputed by a staff member of the mainland host agency, who said there was no speeding. He said the weather at the time of the crash was normal, although it was windy.

The mainland's National Tourism Administration said last night the cause of the crash was under investigation.

Wing On Travel said the driver, who was not injured, had more than 10 years' driving experience.

Tang Yuet-mei, 46, who was injured in the chest, and Wan Sau-fong, 50, who suffered bleeding to the brain, were the most seriously injured and remained in a Qingdao hospital last night.

A duty doctor at the hospital described Tang's condition as being more serious and said surgery would be needed. But he believed there was no immediate threat to their lives. He could not say how long they would have to stay in hospital.

Six other tourists, including a six-year-old girl, suffered internal injuries or broken bones. They were being treated and were in stable condition. Five others with minor injuries were under observation.

Most of those discharged had made it back to Hong Kong last night.



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