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Tour bus flips over in northeast Taiwan, killing 1

Police say bus carrying 40 passengers in Yilan overturned due to faulty brakes

Bus flips over after brake failure.

Bus flips over after brake failure. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tour bus flipped over as it came down from Yilan’s Taiping Mountain on Sunday (Nov. 5) afternoon.

The bus, driven by a 48-year-old man surnamed Kuo (郭), was traveling on an access road toward Yingshi when it crashed into the guardrail. It overturned at the 5.3-kilometer mark at around 3 p.m., per CNA.

The Yilan County Fire Department was alerted at 3:17 p.m. and immediately dispatched eight rescue teams. Upon their arrival, they learned that there were 42 passengers on board. Forty were environmental volunteers from Bade Community in Taoyuan and two were the driver and tour guide.

By 4:05 p.m., all individuals were taken out of the vehicle and 39 were taken to the hospital, including seven with severe injuries, five with moderate injuries, 26 with minor injuries, and a 70-year-old woman, also surnamed Kuo, who had no vital signs. Despite efforts to revive her at the Bo Ai Hospital in Luodong Township, she was pronounced dead at approximately 6:00 p.m.

The initial police investigation found that the bus had a brake malfunction, which made it impossible to slow down as it descended from the mountain. Despite attempting to use the handbrake, the bus still could not stop, leading it to collide with the left-side guardrail and then a wall on the right before overturning. Kuo was subjected to a breathalyzer test, which showed no alcohol present in his system.