41 passengers unhurt in Alishan tour bus fire

Taipei-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, according to Chiayi County Fire Department.

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 caught fire, the Fire Department 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.

An initial probe indicates the fire was caused by a flat tire, investigators said.

Chiayi Motor Vehicles Office said it will launch an investigation to see if the flat tire was caused by an accident or the age of the vehicle or tire, before deciding whether to fine the tour bus company.

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.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel