A bus carrying 26 Chinese tourists met with an accident on Saturday (4 February) in Kaohsiung city, southern Taiwan, injuring all on board. The incident has prompted a call from Beijing for "greater security safeguards".
According to local media reports, police said the driver of the bus did not pay attention to the road. The 43-year-old was reportedly discussing the itinerary of the tourists with their Taiwanese guide and failed to notice a bridge ahead on the road, which had a height restriction.
The bus crashed into the railway bridge, tearing off the top front part of the vehicle, Taiwan News reported.
Of the 26 Chinese on board the bus, nine were from the mainland, the driver and the tour guide were "observed with apparent wounds", Taiwan Strait Tourism Association said. It added that none of the injuries was life-threatening.
Those injured includes seven children. The ages of the tourists ranged from two to 74. The tourists came from China's Zhejiang province and were on a six-day trip in Taiwan.
Taiwan's tourism industry is already reported to have suffered a major downturn in visitors from the mainland, with China discouraging its people from travelling to the island nation following Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to pledge to 'one China' policy.
The communist country considers Taipei as its breakaway province and has warned to use force if Tsai's pro-democratic government works towards seeking formal independence.
Reuters reported that the country's National Tourism Bureau was paying close attention to the incident and called for greater security safeguards of those travelling from the mainland to Taiwan.
The accident in Kaohsiung follows a murder-suicide last year in which 24 Chinese tourists were killed after the driver allegedly set the moving bus on fire.