Poor driving caused crash: authorities

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Poor driving caused crash: authorities

BEIJING - Poor driving was likely the cause behind a tragic bus accident in China that resulted in the deaths of 11 people, including a group of Korean government officials, a Chinese official said Friday.

“In our preliminarily conclusion, the accident appeared to have happened due to the driver’s poor driving,” an official from the traffic authority of Jian said based on an initial investigation at the crash site and video records from CCTV. “There were no other oncoming vehicles.”

On Wednesday, a bus carrying 27 people crashed through the guard rail and skidded off a bridge in Jian County in China’s southeastern Jilin province, where it plunged into the river about 15 meters (49 feet) below.

Chinese media released video footage of the accident the following day. Of the 27 people onboard, 24 were identified as Korean government employees participating in a leadership training program in China.

Of the 11 dead, nine were Korean public servants, one a Korean travel agent and the other the driver.

Although the initial investigation suggests the driver was at fault, Chinese authorities have not ruled out the possibility of a mechanical failure.

Sixteen people are currently receiving treatment at a local hospital, and eight of them have serious injuries, a hospital official said.

Four forensic specialists, including Seo Joong-seok, the director general of Korea’s National Forensic Service, departed to the scene of the accident on Friday.

On Friday, 105 of 148 public servants who participated in the same program returned to Korea. The training program was scheduled to take the officials to Yanji, Dandong and Dalian from Monday to Friday.

Participants were being transported in six buses from Jian toward Dandong, Liaoning Province, when the accident occurred.

BY YEH YOUNG-JUNE AND NAM YOON-SEO[nam.yoonseo@joongang.co.kr]

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