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At least 36 dead after coach bus slams into tunnel wall in China

Click to play video: 'Dozens killed after bus crashes into tunnel wall in China' Dozens killed after bus crashes into tunnel wall in China
WATCH: At least 36 people were killed and 13 others were injured when a passenger bus crashed into a wall of a tunnel in northwestern China Friday morning. – Aug 11, 2017

BEIJING – A long-distance passenger bus crashed into the wall of an expressway tunnel in China’s northwest, killing at least 36 people and injuring 13 others, official media reported Friday.

The front end of the red bus was left mangled after it plowed into the wall at the entrance to the tunnel on a four-lane highway, according to photos published by state media.

The crash occurred in Shaanxi province shortly before midnight Thursday as the bus with a legal carrying capacity of 51 people was on its way to Luoyang, a city in central China, from Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan.

READ MORE: At least 13 dead, 175 injured after earthquake strikes western China

Such long-distance buses are a common mode of transport, particularly for migrant workers and other Chinese with low incomes.

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The Xinhua News Agency and other media outlets said the bus was the only vehicle damaged, although it wasn’t clear if any other vehicles were involved in causing the crash. Photos on news websites showed it being towed out of the tunnel with no sign of it having caught fire. Two children were among those killed, and all the injured had been taken to a hospital, the reports said.

Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun ordered a swift investigation into the accident, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.

Highway accidents are common in China because of high speeds, aggressive driving and a failure to leave adequate braking distance. The World Health Organization estimates that traffic accidents kill around 260,000 people in mainland China each year – a rate of 18.8 in every 100,000 people

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