Taiwan tour bus accident kills 32
Cranes hoist the frame of a bus which crashed after an accident on a highway in Taipei Reuters

A horrific accident involving a bus near Taipei killed at least 32 people on Monday night. Officials are afraid the death toll might rise as the injured people are being treated in hospitals around Taiwan's capital city.

Video footages show the bus, carrying 44 passengers, losing balance and flipping to the other side of a road barrier. Authorities were immediately alerted about the accident following which the fire department rushed to the spot. While 30 people were pronounced dead at the scene, two other victims succumbed to their injuries in the hospital. The deceased are in the age group between early 20s and late 60s, the city authorities told Agence France-Presse.

Police still identifying victims

Initial investigations revealed that the trip was arranged by the Tieh Lien Hua Travel Agency and all the people who were on the bus are "likely" to be Taiwanese. However, officers are still trying to identify the victims and are going through passenger information. "We are making efforts to help with the emergency response and will fully cooperate," Chou Chi-hung, an official with the travel agency, told Reuters.

Taiwan bus accident
Volunteers pray in front of bodies found in a crashed bus after an accident on a highway in Taipei, Taiwan Reuters

Meanwhile, police are still unsure about what caused the crash. Local television channels showed a footage showing the hitting a road barrier and flipping onto its side and skidding towards the hillside.

Cranes used

The impact of the accident was massive and rescue workers had to use a crane to lift the battered bus from its wheels, while ambulances and fire trucks assist the victims. This is the second accident involving tour buses in Taiwan in one month. Earlier, several Chinese tourists were injured when a Taiwanese tour bus crashed into a bridge in southern Taiwan.