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China bus-truck collision death toll rises to 15

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BEIJING (AP) — The death toll in a head-on collision between a truck and bus in northwestern China has risen to 15 with 48 others being treated for injuries, state media reported Wednesday.

The Xinhua News Agency said the casualty figure rose after two bus passengers died from their injuries. It said two other of the injured remained in critical condition.

The accident occurred Tuesday when the bus crossed the center divider of the road and plowed into the truck near the city of Jiuquan in Gansu province. Photos from the scene showed the flatbed truck loaded with what appeared to be massive steel pipes or utility poles, some of which had rolled over onto the bus.

Xinhua said the dead included two people in the truck and 13 passengers on the bus, which was authorized to carry 55 people but had 61 on board, including seven children.

Such accidents are common in China, and are usually blamed on driver fatigue, speeding and poorly maintained or overloaded vehicles.

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