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January 30, 2009


National Transportation Safety Board says another person has been added to the victims of this bus accident, a motorcyclist who crashed when the bus overturned.

NTSB also reports that the tour bus was returning to Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon when the bus crashed about 4 p.m. near Dolan Springs, Ariz.

The tour bus was owned by DW Tour and Charter, based in San Gabriel, California, east of Los Angeles. The company's owner, Agnes Wang, said they rented the bus to another company for a weekend trip. All the people on board were tourists from China who had flown from Shanghai to San Francisco. They may have been here to celebrate the Chinese New Year. According to China Daily News, the Chinese Tourism Administration is assisting the victims' families to arrange travel to the United States.

A search of the federal department of transportation database turned up a clean record on DW Tour and Charter. However, California records show the company did have some administrative violations back in October of 2008, but there were no safety violations related to the company.

The victims were all members of a tour group organized by the Shanghai Donghu International Travel Service.

The bus on its way to the Grand Canyon, an optional trip not included in the package price, when the accident happened. All but one of the victims killed are believed to have been thrown from the bus. There were no seat belts on the bus, Shanghai Morning Post reported today. Some passengers were thrown out of the bus when it suddenly deviated from its lane and rolled over.

FOUR Shanghai residents, a 16-year-old Hong Kong woman and a tour guide have been identified among the seven victims of the traffic accident in the United States involving a Chinese tour group.

Zhu Yongshun, male, age 40 and Zhong Yujing from Hong Kong were two of the six Chinese tourists killed in the accident, according to Xinmin Evening News.

The 46-year-old tour guide, Chen Wenting, a US-based overseas Chinese, was also confirmed dead at the scene.

The other four victims are Zhu Guoying, Sun Mengqiu, Sheng Zhenquan from Shanghai and Ge Xiazhen from Hangzhou.

The 20-person group included 16 people from Shanghai, two from Hangzhou, capital of neighboring Zhejiang Province and two from Hong Kong.

Liu Yijun from Hong Kong, Xie Tianyi, Zhao Shunxing, Zhao Yinglei, Wu Shuang, Hong Bangyao, Cheng Yafen and Han Dongdong are now being treated in hospital.

Five other tourists who chose not to go on the deadly trip all survived. They are Zhang Xinfan, Zhou Yin, Dai Xiemin, Li Yejuan and Hong Jiahua.

Wu Shougui and Bao Ruihua have been escorted to their hotel as they emerged safe and sound from the accident.

The group from Shanghai was reported to have been organized by Shanghai-based Donghu International Travel Service for separate customers, the newspaper said.

An insider told state media that Texas-based Galaxy Travel was in charge of the group but it sub-contracted the group to DW Tours without signing any paperwork, according to Beijing-based Caijing magazine.

DW Tours is a small agency based in Beijing with only four buses, said the magazine.

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