Cell phone photo taken on Oct. 1, 2012 shows the site of a road accident which claimed 6 lives on a pivotal expressway linking Beijing with Shanghai near Beijing, capital of China. Six people, including five German nationals and a Chinese, were killed and 14 others injured after a tourist bus rear-ended a container truck and caught fire on Monday morning on the expressway. (Xinhua/Liu Yuanxu)
TIANJIN, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Six people, including five German nationals and a Chinese driver, died and 14 others were injured after a tourist bus rear-ended a container truck and caught fire Monday near Beijing, police said.
The bus, which had a license plate from Beijing, was carrying a group of German tourists and was driving on an expressway linking the capital with the neighboring port city of Tianjin when the accident happened at around 8:30 a.m., said police authorities in Tianjin.
Police said the tour group was arranged by the Beijing-based China Youth Travel Service.
The names of the dead are yet to be available.
Of the 14 people injured, 12 were German and two were Chinese, said a doctor with the People's Hospital in Wuqing District of Tianjin, who only gave his family name as Zhang.
He said 11 of the patients were being treated at the hospital, including nine German tourists and the two Chinese individuals. "Their conditions are stable. Most of them suffered burns, fractures or bruises. Three of them are under intensive care."
Three more serious cases, all German nationals, have been transferred to Tianjin Municipal People's Hospital and the First Hospital in the city center for treatment, Zhang.
German Ambassador to China Michael Schaefer arrived in Tianjin Monday afternoon to visit the injured tourists.
The tourist group arrived in Beijing at around 6 a.m. and they were traveling to Tianjin, where they were scheduled to visit the First Hospital affiliated to Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the afternoon, said Fu Dechao, the university's German interpreter who was to accompany the group.
Fu said he called the tour guide at 8:30 a.m. to check on their location, only to find out there was a problem. "So I rushed to the hospital to interprete for the patients and doctors," he said.
Fu said most of the injured tourists were "middle-aged" and that "Most of them were in stable condition, but apparently scared."
Photographs on the web, taken by witnesses, show the entire vehicle in flames and surrounded by dark smoke.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.