One dead, many hurt, as bus carrying Taiwanese business figures crashes on iconic Australian road

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 April, 2017, 10:26am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 April, 2017, 10:30am

Parts of Australia’s iconic Great Ocean Road were closed on Tuesday after a bus crash that killed one tourist, who was among a group of Taiwanese business figures.

The 38-year-old man from Taiwan died at the scene of the crash in Glenaire, 225 km southwest of Melbourne on Monday night. Australia’s ABC news reported quoted Victorian Roads Minister Luke Donnellan as saying the tour group was from “the Taiwanese International Chamber of Commerce”, which he sai had held a conference in Melbourne over the weekend.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police said the bus, which was carrying 30 passengers, rolled and hit a tree after veering off the road.

A woman in her 30s was trapped underneath the bus but was freed and taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she remained in a serious but stable condition.

Seven other people, including the 49-year-old bus driver, were taken to nearby hospitals in stable conditions.

The remaining 21 passengers were assessed by paramedics at the scene and treated for minor injuries.

The Great Ocean Road is Victoria’s most popular regional tourist attraction with 33 per cent of the 530,000 visitors to Victoria from China every year visiting the road. It overlooks the famous Twelve Apostles rock formation, the destination for the Taiwanese group, Donnellan told the ABC.

A large section of the road remained closed on Tuesday as a Major Collision Investigation unit returned to the scene.

The incident was the latest of a number of serious crashes on the road in recent years.

Three people were flown to hospital in serious conditions after a four-vehicle pileup in Glenaire, the same area as Monday night’s crash, in February. Authorities established that the crash was caused by a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road.

In October 2016, a motorist was killed and a teenager seriously injured when their car collided with a truck near Lorne, 87 km east of Glenaire.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said in December 2016 that US$38 million would be spent on urgent repairs and safety repairs to the road.