- A truck loaded with Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims overturned on a
mountain road in western China, killing at least 54 people and injuring
41, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today.
The accident happened around noon
yesterday as the truck was travelling through the Qinghai region
while making its way back from Tibet’s capital Lhasa, Xinhua said.
The injured were sent to hospital
where 29 of them were in serious condition, the report said.
Most of the passengers were from Ganzi
and Aba, ethnic Tibetan regions of the south-western province of
Sichuan, Xinhua said. It said they had been on a pilgrimage to Lhasa,
the traditional home of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s highest
Road accidents killed about 100,000
people in China last year, most of them blamed on inexperienced
drivers, disregard for safety, and unsafe or overloaded vehicles.
People in rural areas are routinely
transported in commercial vehicles such as tractors and trucks that
are hard to steer and prone to overturning.
Alarmed at the rising death toll,
the Public Security Ministry ordered provincial law enforcement
officials last month to improve road safety. [SCOTSMAN]