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Bus flips over killing 32 tourists in Taiwan

Members of rescue team at the scene where a bus collided with a car on a highway in Taipei, Taiwan. Picture by AP

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A BUS carrying Taiwanese tourists on a trip to view cherry blossoms has flipped over on a road in Taiwan's capital, killing 32 people and injuring many others, officials said.

The bus was carrying 44 people when it crashed on Monday evening local time on the No 5 road, the Taipei city fire department said.

Authorities were still trying to determine the cause of the accident, it said.

"It happened on a curve, so the bus flipped and that could be due to excess speed," Tu Bing-cheng, a Taipei city official said.

"The whole frame of the bus changed shape, got crushed and left no openings."

Many passengers were trapped under the crushed bus, and rescue personnel used a crane to pry the vehicle open.

Thirty-two people, all Taiwanese, were confirmed dead and the remaining passengers were sent to hospitals for treatment, Mr Tu said.

The bus belonged to a private company, he said.

It was taking tourists back from a trip to see cherry blossoms when it crashed, Taipei city deputy mayor Teng Chia-ji said.

A bus accident in Taiwan last July killed 26 tourists from mainland China, raising concern from officials in Beijing about travel safety.

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