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China bus crash kills 19: State media

Nineteen people were killed and an unknown number injured when a crowded long-distance bus slammed into a transport truck on an icy highway in northeastern China, State press said.

world Updated: Mar 20, 2009 08:39 IST

Nineteen people were killed and an unknown number injured when a crowded long-distance bus slammed into a transport truck on an icy highway in northeastern China, state press said on Friday.

The accident occurred on slippery roads in Heilongjiang province on Thursday afternoon when the bus crashed into the rear end of a transport truck that had stopped after hitting another vehicle, Xinhua news agency said.

The bus had 41 passengers when the accident took place near the provincial capital of Harbin, it said. All the injured were hospitalised.

Nearly 73,500 died in more than 265,000 road accidents in China last year, just over 200 fatalities per day, according to police statistics.

Still, traffic fatalities in China last year were down by 10 percent over 2007, as authorities stepped up road safety awareness and improved management of commercial vehicles, the government has said.