Authorities said that 26 people — the driver, guide and passengers — were killed in a tour bus accident in Taoyuan on No. 2 National Freeway at 12:57 today, CNA reported. The tour bus was on its way to Taoyuan Airport. The bus reportedly caught fire before hitting a guardrail. The passengers were found huddled near an exit door. The Tourism Bureau confirmed that the 24 passengers killed were mainland tourists from Liaoning Province.
30 firefighters were dispatched to the scene to extinguish the fire and attempt to rescue passengers. The Interior Ministry has set up a Central Disaster Response Center.
While the passengers were unable to escape through an emergency exit door, Apple Daily noted that tour buses are supposed to be equipped with four exit doors and four window emergency exits. The front door was unusable due to the fire while the rear right side door was blocked by the guardrail. The left side rear door was reportedly bolted shut, preventing the passengers from escaping the fire.