Beijing: At least 43 people have been killed and six others injured when a lorry carrying flammable liquid collided with a bus on a highway in southern Chinese province of Hunan, media reports said today.
A van loaded with alcohol rear-ended a passenger bus on a section of the Hukun (Shanghai to Kunming) Expressway in Hunan Province yesterday, resulting in a big pile up of vehicles.
A total of five vehicles were destroyed in the accident.
At least 43 people have been killed and six others injured in the accident, local officials said.
Shi Shiping, a villager living near the scene, told state- run Xinhua news agency that he "heard a huge bang" when the accident happened.
"It was like the explosion of an atomic bomb. Four people escaped from the blaze with severe burns, their hair and clothes burnt. They could barely talk and were just moaning," Shi said, adding that local villagers were unable to get close to the site because of the fierce fire.
The injured have been rushed to the hospital for treatment.
A joint task force led by the State Administration of Work Safety, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Transport has arrived at the site.
The investigation team concluded that the van had been remodelled and the coach driver had not followed mandated stop-over policy that requires passenger coaches to rest after midnight, in their preliminary findings.