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Bus accident kills 18 in China

A minibus crash in China killed at least 18 people on Friday when the vehicle plunged into a lake, state media reported.

The minibus was travelling from Ezhou to Wuhan in the central province of Hubei with around 20 people on board, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Photos showed rescue workers pulling the vehicle out of a roadside lake. The driver was detained by police, CCTV said.

Traffic accidents are common in China, where more than 260,000 people died on the country`s roads in 2013, according to the World Health Organization. The number is strikingly higher than official statistics, which say that there were 58,022 traffic fatalities last year.

Long-distance coaches are a popular cheap mode of travel between cities and competition between transport firms can be fierce.

In November, a pile-up on a Chinese motorway killed 17 and damaged 56 vehicles in the northern province of Shanxi.

In July, a coach crashed through a highway guard rail and plunged into a canal near the northern city of Tianjin, killing 26.

Source: Agencies

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