A freight train collided with an overloaded passenger bus in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province early on Monday, killing nine people and injuring 36 others, one of them badly, according to the local government.
The collision occurred at 7:36 a.m. at a railway crossing in Heihe City, the emergency response office of the Heihe municipal government said.
Five people died at the scene and another on the way to hospital. Three more died in hospital, sources with Heihe’s work safety watchdog said.
A previous report said 10 people died in the collision and 11 were injured.
An investigation showed that the crossing has a supervisor but was unguarded when the accident happened, according to local railway sources.
The supervisor, being informed too late, failed to reach the area in time to warn vehicles of the approaching train, a senior railway official in Heihe told Xinhua.
The railway safety administration authorities of Harbin, the provincial capital, have dispatched a team to investigate the accident.
All of the victims were on board the bus, which belonged to a local public transport company, Wudalianchi Passenger Transport Company.
It is not immediately known whether the bus driver was killed or injured.
The bus had a capacity of 35 people, but was apparently overloaded, judging from the casualties. Further investigation is under way to determine how many passengers were on the bus at the time of the collision.
The train, operated by a local railway company in Heihe, has left the scene. The railway line resumed operation at around 11 a.m. on Monday.