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China Says 36 Dead After Tour Bus Crashes in N. Korea

North Korea is a popular, if offbeat, tourist destination  for Chinese, especially from northeastern China.North Korea is a popular, if offbeat, tourist destination  for Chinese, especially from northeastern China.

Thirty-two Chinese tourists and four North Koreans have died in a major bus accident in North Korea, China’s foreign ministry says, with two Chinese nationals seriously injured.

Diplomats rushed to the scene of the accident in North Hwanghae province, which happened on Sunday evening, the ministry added, ABC reported.

Chinese state television’s English-language channel tweeted that a tour bus had fallen off a bridge, killing more than 30 people, but later deleted the tweet. State television’s main Chinese-language news channel later showed images of a crashed blue bus with its wheels in the air, in footage taken in pouring rain in the dark.

In a separate statement, China’s health ministry said it was sending a team of medical experts along with equipment and drugs to North Korea to help treat survivors. North Hwanghae province borders South Korea. North Korea is a popular, if offbeat, tourist destination for Chinese, especially from north-eastern China.

South Korean think-tank the Korea Maritime Institute estimates tourism generates about $44 million in annual revenue for North Korea. About 80% of all North Korea’s foreign tourists are Chinese, it said. China said more than 237,000 Chinese visited in 2012, but it stopped publishing the statistics in 2013.

 

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