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Gov't Agency Warns of Travel Mishaps
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With many tourist sites across the country reporting record numbers of visitors during the ongoing Golden Week holidays, travel accidents resulting in injuries and deaths have also been frequently rocking the nation in the past few days.

The National Holiday Office, a government agency established for Golden Week holiday operations, has warned local governments, tourist companies, resort sites and tourists as well, that they must take precautions against accidents.

The most deadly accident happened about 8:30 AM Friday in Lincang City in southwest Yunnan Province. Fourteen were killed and 45 injured as a heavy-duty truck ploughed into a crowd waiting at a bus stop.

The truck, departing Yunnan for the municipality of Chongqing, lost control after it collided head-on with a passenger car. Nine people waiting on the roadside were killed instantly. Five more died on the way to the hospital.

In the capital city of Beijing, a group of nine senior citizens climbed the Fragrance Mountains in eastern suburbs of Beijing at the small hours on Friday, but came back with eight alive. A 64-year-old man died of a heart attack. Rescuers said poor mobile phone signals in the remote areas and darkness made it harder for them to reach the man before it was too late.

Also on Friday, a man was drowned in the One-Hundred-Flower Valley, also a popular tourist destination in southeastern Beijing.

The same day, a group of four daring young people trekking the Yunmeng Mountains in suburban Beijing got themselves lost twice. For the first time, they happened to come across a park staff and got helped once. And the second time, they were lucky to be rescued by the patrolling police near the park.

On May 2, an avalanche in Yunnan killed 2, injured 7. The same day, an aeroboat and yacht collided at a waterborne recreational center in Nanjing, and seriously injured a 13-year-old girl.

The National Holiday Office said in a circular seen by Xinhua on Saturday that many expedition-inspired tourists are prone to accidents when in remote areas or out of the periphery of parks and tourist resorts. Tourists who are obsessive with adventures during the holidays "should be well prepared and instructed by professionals," it said.

The rising number of private cars in Chinese cities has given rise to the new generation of adventurers who are fascinated with outdoor explorations during holiday time.

China has seen tourists accidents almost every day since the beginning of this May Day Holiday.

Two rafts collided with each other in water on May 1, in a park in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province, causing 6 people to be injured.

(Xinhua News Agency May 5, 2007)

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