Bus sank, flooding left at least 28 dead in northern China

Chinese authorities confirmed, on Tuesday, 13 deaths after a bus plunged into a flowing river amid torrential floods that killed 15 others in the north.

State broadcaster CCTV said 37 other people were rescued, including seven who were taken to hospital and the driver was taken into custody. One person remained missing.

The accident occurred on Monday after heavy rains caused floods that destroyed homes and covered farmland in two counties near the national capital, Beijing.

The official “The Paper” news website said that the bus driver ignored warnings not to try to cross the bridge, which was almost covered by the rising flood waters. A video posted online showed people on top of the semi-submerged bus as water flowed over the nearby bridge outside Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province.

CCTV reported that 15 people died in floods that caused direct economic losses of more than 5 billion yuan ($770 million) in Shanxi Province, west of Hebei. More than 120,000 people were evacuated in the county as thousands of homes collapsed and 190,000 hectares (470,000 acres) of crops were damaged.

The floods also disrupted coal mining operations in the region amid a nationwide fuel shortage. The pause comes as the government tries to tackle the power shortage that has affected industry and even some homes.

Shanxi, a normally dry area, closed 166 tourist sites after floods destroyed part of the ancient city wall in the historic city of Pingyao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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