13 Chinese tourists killed as bus plunges into ravine in Laos


At least 13 Chinese tourists were killed and dozens injured when their bus skidded off the road and plunged 30 metres into a ravine in Laos, a police officer said pm Tuesday (Aug 20).

The bus was carrying more than 40 Chinese nationals heading towards the tourist town of Luang Prabang when the accident occurred late on Monday.

"At this moment, 13 bodies have been recovered... while two are still missing," police officer Xaiyaphon Chitavong said, blaming brake failure for the accident.

He added that 31 people were receiving medical treatment.

Chinese state media showed photos of rescuers wading through ankle-deep floodwaters.

Traffic accidents in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar are common, with safety regulations often flouted and law enforcement low.

The monsoon season from June to October also drenches rural roads with heavy rains creating slippery conditions.

The Chinese Embassy in Laos released a statement on its website on Monday saying that a bus carrying 44 Chinese tourists was involved in an accident on the way from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. 

According to a report by Jiangsu Television on Monday, the group tour was arranged by Jiangsu Jinling Business International Travel Service, and most of the tourists are middle-aged and from Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province. 

Tourism to communist-run Laos has grown in recent years, and visitors from China increased by 13 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to the year before.

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