Safety stressed after DPRK crash kills 32 Chinese

Updated 2018-04-24 08:51:03 China Daily

An injured Chinese tourist is treated at a hospital in DPRK. (Screen shot from CCTV)

President Xi Jinping has urged maximizing safety precautions to protect the lives and assets of the public in an instruction on handling Sunday's fatal bus accident in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

On Sunday night, the accident in North Hwanghae province, in the southwest of the DPRK, killed 32 Chinese tourists and four DPRK citizens, and left two other Chinese in critical condition.

Xi quickly issued the instruction after the accident to require the Foreign Ministry and embassy in the DPRK to take all necessary measures to coordinate with DPRK authorities and effectively handle any issues or needs that arise.

No effort should be spared to assist the injured and deal with the aftermath involving the victims, and localities involved should take the initiative to console their family members, Xi said in the instruction.

Xi said great attention should be paid to the recent frequency of accidents, and with the May 1 holidays approaching, localities and departments should fully honor their safety-related duties, rule out hidden risks, boost precautions and ramp up emergency responses.

Premier Li Keqiang also called for an early verification of the accident's details and effective rescue and treatment.

China solemnly mourns the Chinese compatriots and DPRK citizens, and offers condolences to the family members of those killed and injured, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news conference in Beijing on Monday.

In a release earlier on Monday, the ministry disclosed that Pyongyang had briefed the Chinese embassy on Sunday night about the crash.

An embassy working group rushed to the scene of the accident accompanied by officials from the DPRK Foreign Ministry.

China's Foreign Ministry and National Health Commission activated their emergency response procedures overnight.

The National Health Commission selected four national-level medical experts with specialties in areas such as neurosurgery and spinal injury surgery from four leading hospitals in Beijing as members of the state medical experts group.

The group, led by commission officials, carried needed medical equipment and medicines and left for the DPRK on Monday, the commission said in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry has sent a working group that accompanied the medical experts to the DPRK, Lu said.

They will work with the DPRK on such tasks as further rescue and recovery issues and medical treatment, Lu added.

Pyongyang considers the accident to be of great importance, and various departments concerned are coordinating with China on the aftermath of the crash and investigating the accident, Lu said.

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