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Report: 22 Die in Minibus Overload

March 18, 2001

BEIJING (AP) _ A minibus overloaded with people rolled off a highway and into a lake, killing the driver and 21 passengers, state-run newspapers said Sunday.

The minibus swerved off a highway March 12 in the western province of Gansu, the Beijing Evening News and other government newspapers said. The vehicle was built for nine passengers but was carrying 26.

The bus rolled more about 300 feet before falling into a 50-foot-deep lake, the reports said.

The driver, Gao Guangming, died at the scene along with 19 passengers. Two died while in rescuers’ care.

Police blamed the accident on Gao, but the newspapers did not say why.

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