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China holiday crash kills five Germans as millions take to roads

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 1 Oct 2012 08:51 GMT
Author: Reuters
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BEIJING, Oct 1 (Reuters) - A bus struck a container truck near Beijing and burst into flames on Monday, killing five German tourists and a Chinese driver as motorists jammed roads at the start of a week-long holiday.

Fourteen people were injured in the mid-morning accident as the bus on the road linking the capital to the neighbouring city of Tianjin ran into the back of the truck, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Police were investigating the cause.

China has waived road tolls for the holiday, prompting 85 million motorists to take to the roads - 13.3 percent more than last year, the Transport Ministry said.

Officials expected a total of 740 million trips to be undertaken.

Traffic accidents are among the leading causes of death in China, with many new and often poorly trained drivers taking to the roads.

Police, quoted by state media, say about 100,000 have been killed in accidents annually over the past decade, with the figure dipping to 70,000 last year.

(Reporting by Wan Xu and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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