BEIJING – Authorities in China confirmed Tuesday that 13 people had died after a bus crashed into a rushing river amid severe flooding, which killed 15 more in the north.
State broadcaster CCTV said another 37 people were rescued from the bus, including seven hospitalized, and that the driver was taken into custody. One person was missing.
The crash came on Monday after heavy rains caused flooding that destroyed homes and covered farmland in two provinces near the capital, Beijing.
The official news website The Paper said the bus driver ignored warnings not to attempt to cross the bridge, which was almost covered by the floods. A video posted on the Internet showed people on the almost submerged bus as water spilled over the nearby bridge outside the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang in Hebei.
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In Shanxi province west of Hebei, 15 people were killed in floods that caused more than 5 billion yuan ($ 770 million) in direct economic damage, CCTV reported. More than 120,000 people had been evacuated in the province when thousands of houses collapsed and 190,000 acres of arable land was damaged.
Floods have also disrupted coal mining in the region as fuel is scarce across the country. The disruption comes as the government tries to fix electricity bottlenecks affecting industry and even some households.
Usually an arid region, Shanxi has also closed 166 tourist attractions after flooding damaged part of an ancient city wall in the historic city of Pingyao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.