What you need to know
Three children were among the 26 people killed in a bus crash in Taiwan this afternoon. All but two were Chinese nationals.
The Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday confirmed that 26 people were killed in a bus crash in northern Taiwan today.
The crash occurred just before 1 pm near Taoyuan, southwest of Taipei.
The 24 tourists onboard were part of a group from Liaoning Province in northeast China. The driver and tour guide were Taiwanese. The oldest tourist onboard was 73 years old and the youngest of the three children was 12, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported.
Presidential Office spokesperson Alex Huang (黃重諺) said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was told of the incident at around 2 pm. The central and local governments have organized emergency response centers.
Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation and Mainland Affairs Council have representatives present at the scene, according to Storm Media.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits communicated with the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association to better understand the situation, the China Times reported.
The TAO announced it will dispatch a team to the area to assist family members of the victims. TAO spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said, “We are highly concerned with the lives and security of our mainland compatriots,” CNA reported.
Despite earlier reports that the bus driver had escaped, it has been confirmed he was also killed in the accident.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash.
Additional reporting by Shuhei Omi.
(Updated July 19, 17:41 pm: Death toll confirmed, official responses.)
Editor: J. Michael Cole