Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 13:14 UK

Toll rises after Hong Kong crash


Most of the passengers were elderly people on their way to a ceremony

At least 18 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a bus crash in Hong Kong.

The accident happened at 0900 (0100 GMT) in the eastern Sai Kung district. Emergency crews took three hours to cut the passengers free.

Police said the driver appeared to have lost control of the bus on a hill, causing it to crash and overturn.

He has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and an inquiry into the cause of the accident is under way.

Most of the passengers were elderly people being driven to a religious ceremony when the accident happened, local media reports said.

More than 40 other passengers were taken to hospitals, many of whom were said to have broken bones.


Ho Chak Kan, of the territory's police force, said officers were still assessing the cause of the accident.

"We will look at whether it was due to speeding or whether there was anything wrong with the parts of the bus," Mr Ho said.

Analysts say major accidents are rare in Hong Kong, where roads tend to be narrow and speeds are severely restricted.

Roads crisscrossing more rural areas, such as Sai Kung in the New Territories, are dotted with accident blackspots - though Hong Kong officials insisted the site of the crash was not a blackspot.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang described it as Hong Kong's "most serious accident in recent years".

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