One passenger died and 44 other people were injured when fire ripped through a Hong Kong tour bus after it crashed on the notorious Guangzhou-Shenzhen Highway yesterday. The coach was reduced to a charred skeleton by the blaze, which killed Yan Wang-hou, 71, a former Hong Kong resident who migrated to New Zealand five years ago. The 44 people who made it to safety as the fire took hold were admitted to Guangdong Provincial Wujing Hospital and two other hospitals. Most suffered minor injuries. Three sustained broken legs and arms, while two had slight burns. The driver, Tsang Hin-wah, 37, suffered serious head injuries and was unconscious last night. Seventeen Hong Kong residents had last night left hospital and returned to the SAR for treatment. The 45-seat coach, operated by Transisland Limousine Services, left Hong Kong with 44 passengers, 35 of them SAR residents, at 7.10am bound for Taishan, via Guangzhou. People from the US, Britain, France and Venezuela were also on board. The driver reportedly lost control near Lugang as he swerved to avoid another accident and smashed into a road sign. Visibility was said to have been low at the time. 'Most of the passengers got out successfully but one of them could not escape immediately and died,' said Alan Chan Chung-yee, general manager of the tour company. The crash came one month after a spate of fatal traffic accidents involving Hong Kong people in Guangdong over the Lunar New Year.