Seventeen Chinese tourists were injured and a Thai driver killed in a bus crash in Thailand. The accident happened on Friday morning in the southern province of Phang Na, according the Chinese consulate general. The bus came off the road and hit an electricity pole, according to Thai media reports. An initial investigation suggested the accident was caused by driver fatigue, the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said. The bus carrying 35 Chinese tourists was heading from a hotel in Krabi province to Ban Tha Noon, according to the Bangkok Post . The Chinese consulate general in the southern city of Songkhla said on Saturday that nine of the 17 injured were treated in hospital, Xinhua reported. Among them, three were severely injured, including two children. They have undergone surgery, while a third is likely to be operated after further consultation. None were in a critical condition. Eight tourists injured were kept in hospital for observation. 6.5 million Chinese tourists to travel abroad this Lunar New Year Ma Cuihong, a vice-consul general, has visited the injured in hospital, Xinhua said. The Chinese embassy in Thailand has asked the Thai authorities to investigate the case and to undertake practical measures to prevent similar accidents from happening again, the report added. The Chinese embassy said it would monitor the case and continue to offer help to the injured tourists. More mainland Chinese are travelling abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday period. A report published jointly by Ctrip, the mainland’s largest online travel agency, and the China Tourism Academy, predicted 6.5 million mainland Chinese tourists would travel abroad during the week-long holiday that runs up to February 20, representing an increase of 5.7 per cent on last year. Chinese tourists injured in boat explosion in southern Thailand Thailand is a major travel destination for mainland Chinese tourists. Of the 35 million overseas tourists who visited Thailand last year, about 30 per cent came from China, according to the local tourism authorities.