German tourists among 6 killed in bus crash in China

Flames leap from a tourist bus which crashed into a truck on an expressway in Tianjin, China, on Monday..

Story highlights

  • A bus carrying German tourists rear-ends a truck on a Beijing-Shanghai road
  • The bus catches fire after the collision, killing six and injuring 14, the authorities say
  • It comes after a weekend of heavy traffic on Chinese roads as a weeklong holiday begins

Five German citizens were among six people killed Monday after a tourist bus crashed into a container truck and burst into flames on an expressway outside Beijing, Chinese state media reported.

A Chinese person also died, and 14 other people were injured, in the crash on a road linking Beijing with Shanghai, the state news agency Xinhua reported, citing police authorities in Tianjin, a city about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of the capital.

The crash, in which the bus transporting German tourists rear-ended the container truck, occurred at 8:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Xinhua report. The Germans' tour group was organized by the Beijing-based China Youth Travel Service, it said.

Road accidents are frequent in China, and traffic on the nation's roads had been particularly heavy over the weekend as people headed home for a weeklong national holiday.

A photo carried by Xinhua showed the charred wreckage of the bus standing on the expressway Monday.

The news agency said it was unclear how many people were on the bus, but that witnesses had reported seeing "a few people" escaping from the burning vehicle.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, it said.