Chinese New Year to blame for more than 50 weekend road deaths

China Featured - February 4th, 2013
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More than 50 people were killed on China’s roads in major crashes over the weekend amid the traveling season for the Lunar New Year.

On Friday alone two separate buses crashes killed 29 people, according to The Asahi Shimbun. A bus overturned in the southwestern province of Sichuan, leaving 11 dead. At least 18 people were confirmed dead on Sunday while 31 were injured after a bus careered down a ravine and burst into flames in Gansu province’s Niangxian county on Friday night.

In the neighboring southwest Guizhou province, an overloaded bus turned over and crashed down a 100-meter slope on Saturday morning, killing 12 people, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Another fatal crash on Saturday afternoon on the Shaoguan section of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway in Guangdong province killed five after a tanker collided with 10 cars.

The death toll increased on Sunday morning after a couple, both 25, died in a motorcycle accident in Wuzhou as they were returning home to Pingnan county, China Daily reports.

The buses were found to have carried more passengers than their capacity, according to authorities, while others blamed poor driving and unsafe road conditions.

China’s transportation and traffic authorities said they would take measures to curb road accidents as hundreds of millions of Chinese are expected to travel during the upcoming holiday celebrations.