Beijing, Feb. 14 (CNA) China expressed condolences Tuesday to families of the dead and those injured in a tour bus crash in northern Taiwan on Monday night that has claimed at least 33 lives and left the others on the bus injured.
In a statement, the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council said it was highly concerned about the accident, and it expressed its deepest condolences to families of the dead and sympathy to those injured.
Both the bus driver and tour guide perished in the accident, the worst national freeway accident in Taiwan's history. It is also Taiwan's deadliest road accident since Oct. 8, 1986, when a tour bus plunged into a ravine in central Taiwan, killing 42 people.
The bus, which had 44 people on board including the driver and tour guide, crashed off an exit ramp connecting Freeway No. 5 and Freeway No. 3 in Nangang district in eastern Taipei at about 9 p.m. Monday.
The tour group, consisting mostly of senior citizens, was on its way back to Taipei after a day of sightseeing at Wuling Farm in central Taiwan, a favorite tourist spot at this time of year when cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
There were no foreign nationals on board.
An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.
(By Chiu Kuo-chiang and Elaine Hou)