Minibus plunges into mountain valley in SW China, killing 10

GUZHU VILLAGE, CHINA (BNO NEWS) -- An overloaded minibus veered off a road Friday and plunged into a mountain valley in southwest China, killing five children and five adults in what is the country's second serious bus accident in less than a week, state-run media reported on Saturday.

The accident happened at around 6 a.m. local time on Friday when the nine-seat minibus veered off a road in Guzhu, a village located in Dahua Yao Autonomous County of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The vehicle was carrying 20 people, more than double its maximum capacity.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said eight people died at the scene while two others died while being rushed to a local hospital. The ten others on board the vehicle were also receiving treatment at a local hospital, including a three-month-old baby who remained in a critical condition on Saturday.

"Passengers who were still conscious shouted for help. Nearby villagers came and saved us," Wei Yuefang, the baby's mother, told Xinhua. She said she was carrying her sleeping baby when the accident happened, causing both of them to be thrown out of the minibus as it fell into the valley.

The cause of Friday's accident was not immediately known, but it marked the country's second serious bus accident in less than a week. An overloaded van carrying 15 kindergarten students and two adults plunged into a roadside pond in eastern China on Monday, killing eleven children. It took more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

Roads in China are known to be among the most dangerous in the world with more than 70,000 fatalities and 300,000 injuries a year, according to the country's Public Security Ministry. Many accidents are the result of drivers violating traffic laws, fatigue, poor road conditions and overloaded vehicles.

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