Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) One person has died and 38 others were injured after a tour bus rolled over Sunday afternoon on the access road to Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area in Yilan County, according to local authorities.
Yilan County emergency services said the tour bus carrying 42 people, including 40 tourists from Taoyuan, the driver and a tour guide, overturned at around 3 pm near the 5.3-kilometer marker of the road while descending the mountain.
The local fire bureau said it received a report at 3:17 pm regarding the accident and responded immediately, adding that all of the trapped people were rescued by 4:05 pm
A total of 39 people were sent to the hospital, including seven who were seriously injured, five who were moderately injured, and 26 who had minor injuries.
One woman, around 70 years old, was found at the scene of the incident without vital signs and rushed to Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital where she was pronounced dead around 6 pm, after all efforts to resuscitate her had failed, according to authorities.
According to a preliminary police investigation, the tour bus driven by a man surnamed Guo (郭), 48, was unable to slow down due to a malfunctioning foot brake.
Although he immediately pulled the parking brake, Guo was unable to stop the vehicle, which then veered off the road and onto a guardrail before slamming into a cliff face and overturning near Jiuzhize Hot Springs.
A breathalyzer test given to Guo came back negative.
Further investigations into the cause of the accident are still underway, authorities said.
The Highway Bureau said that the tour bus involved in the accident was over 4 years old. The vehicle passed its last inspection and an investigation into the driver’s license didn’t bring up any evidence of violations.
(By Wang Chao-yu, Wu Jui-chi, Matthew Mazzetta and Evelyn Kao)