41 Killed in China Bus Fire

Officials will need DNA tests to identify badly burned victims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2011 8:17 AM CDT
In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, officials stand near a burnt-out double-decker bus in Xinyang, Henan province, today. The overloaded bus burst into flames on a highway in central...   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Bo)
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(Newser) – An overloaded double-decker bus burst into flames on a highway in central China early today, killing 41 people on board. The official Xinhua News Agency says six passengers managed to escape the blaze in Henan province's Xinyang city and were all hospitalized, with one in critical condition. The sleeper coach had a 35-passenger limit but was carrying 47 people.

Officials say they will have to use DNA tests to identify the bodies because they were so badly burned. It is unclear what caused the blaze and an investigation is under way. The Xinhua story included news photos that showed the charred bus frame stopped in a median between two highway lanes. The bunk beds were burnt down to their metal frames.

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