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Bus on fire with 41 on board tourist in Alishan Scenic Area

Taipei, Taiwan Forty-one people on a tour bus near the Alishan scenic area in southwestern Taiwan's Chiayi County were safe after a fire on the vehicle Sunday afternoon October 20, according to Chiayi County Fire Department.

Alishan Bus, have an annual tour program launched by the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and communications, to encourage tourists back to Alishan

Chiayi Magistrate Chang Hwa-Kuan said the Alishan Bus program, launched in 2010, produced direct economic benefits of over NT$2.5 million (US$86,896) to businesses last year in the Alishan region, one of Taiwan's most popular tourist destinations.

The incident happen when the tour bus was passing through a tunnel at the 34.6-kilometer mark on No. 18 Provincial Highway around 2 p.m. when the vehicle started to fire, An initial probe indicates the fire was caused by a flat tire, investigators said.

All 41 people on the tour bus, including the driver, left the bus unharmed following the blaze, according to the department. The fire was promptly extinguished by firefighters.

Chiayi Motor Vehicles Office said that they will have their investigation if the fire was caused by the flat tire, the company will be fine against the incident.

The incident caused a traffic jam due to the heavy traffic to and from Alishan, one of Taiwan's most-visited tourist attractions, which is 2,000 meters above sea level and known for its landmark sea of clouds, sunrise and alpine trains.


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