NW China Road accident death toll rises to 36

Traffic police work at the accident site after a collision between a 39-seat bus and a methanol-loaded tanker occurred in Yan'an City, northwest China's Shaanxi province, Aug. 26, 2012.

The death toll from an expressway collision between a bus and a tanker in northwest China has risen to 36, local police said Sunday.

The accident happened at around 2 a.m. in Yan’an, Shaanxi Province, when a double-decker sleeper bus crashed into a methanol-loaded tanker and caught fire.

Only three out of the 39 people on board the bus survived, but they all suffered injuries. The driver of the bus also died, police said.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

The 39-seat bus was full at the time of the crash, which occurred about 200 meters from Huaziping service station on the Baotou-Maoming expressway linking northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Guangdong Province in the south.

The two drivers of the tanker, who were not hurt, were taken into police custody, said officials with the Yan’an municipal government.

The State Council has sent an investigation team to Yan’an to look into the accident and oversee the rescue efforts, said officials with the State Administration of Work Safety.

The bus, which belongs to Hohhot Municipal Transport Group, was on its way from Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, to Xi’an, Shaanxi’s capital.

The tanker, owned by Mengzhou No. 1 Transport Co., Ltd. in central Henan Province, was transporting methanol from Shaanxi-based Yulin Energy and Chemical Co., Ltd to the eastern province Shandong.

Xinhua