Published: Mon, April 23, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

North Korea bus crash kills 32 Chinese tourists, 4 North Koreans

North Korea bus crash kills 32 Chinese tourists, 4 North Koreans

The tweet was later deleted.

Footage on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed the mangled wreckage of a bus in the dark with rain falling.

Diplomats have rushed from Beijing to the scene of the accident to assess the situation.

The accident occurred Sunday night in North Hwanghae province, south of Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regularly scheduled news conference.

Chinese tourists make up the majority of visitors traveling to North Korea.

In a separate statement, China's health ministry said it was sending a team of medical experts along with equipment and drugs to North Korea to help treat survivors.

China's worldwide ministry says a lot of Chinese language vacationers have been killed and injured in a "main visitors accident" in North Korea.

Tensions have eased since the two Koreas started talking ahead of the Winter Olympics and Trump granted an unprecedented meeting with the North Korean leader. Seoul closed the area in 2016 in response to a new nuclear test in Pyongyang.

China's exports to North Korea were $142.93 million in March while imports from North Korea were $12.38 million, the data showed.

In this image taken from video footage by China's CCTV via AP Video on Sunday, a bus which carries Chinese and North Koreans is seen overturn after an accident in North Hwanghae province, south of Pyongyang, North Korea.

Western visitors to the North once averaged around 5,000 a year, but numbers have been hit recently by a USA travel ban - Americans accounted for around 20 percent of the market - and official warnings from other countries. An exact figure is not available since China stopped releasing the numbers in 2013-the previous year, 237,000 Chinese tourists visited the neighboring country, according to Reuters.

North Korean roads are often bumpy and poorly maintained.

Bridges are sometimes closed to traffic due to the deterioration of their structure. Among the casualties could be members of a group of Chinese travel company staff from Beijing.

The route is punctuated by concrete columns that can be imploded to block the passage to a possible military invasion.

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