JIAN, China/SEOUL — Ten South Koreans were killed and some others were seriously injured Wednesday in a bus accident in China, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said.
The Chinese driver of a passenger bus carrying a group of South Koreans was also pronounced dead Thursday, raising the death toll to 11.
The bus, carrying 26 South Koreans, veered off a bridge in the northeastern Chinese city of Jian and fell into a river about 15 meters below, the ministry said. The accident occurred at around 3:30 p.m. (local time), while the bus was heading to the border city of Dandong.
“As of 9:20 p.m., the number of confirmed deaths is 10,” the ministry said. “Since there are seriously injured people, we can’t rule out the possibility that the death toll will rise.”
The victims, nine of them public servants, were traveling there on a training program organized by the Local Government Officials Development Institute, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs. The other South Korean killed is a local tour guide, a ministry official said on background.
The exact reason for the accident has not been confirmed yet, he added.
A photo posted on blogging site Sina Weibo shows the scene of a bus accident in the northeastern city of Jian, China, on July 1, which killed 10 South Koreans. The bus veered off the bridge into the river below.
A South Korean consular official based in the nearby city of Shenyang has been dispatched to the scene of the accident and the government has formed an emergency response team, said the official.
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn ordered relevant authorities to cooperate closely with China to handle the case including the provision of information to the families of the victims in South Korea.