The week-long National Day holiday sees tens of millions travelling around China, with Friday marking the peak; a Xinhua photo gallery shows enormous crowds engulfing tourist sites, train stations and taxi ranks. With so many on the roads, accidents are inevitable. The Associated Press reports three incidents in which a total of 56 people lost their lives, including a bus crash which killed 35 and injured 18 others:
Xinhua cited a Tianjin traffic official as saying the bus was speeding and that many passengers were thrown out of the vehicle when it hit the car and rolled over.
In eastern Anhui province, at least 10 people died and 19 were injured in a 24-vehicle pileup on an expressway as foggy weather reduced visibility, the Beijing News daily said.
Eleven people in a van were killed after a truck crashed into the vehicle in central Henan province, the newspaper said.
Serious traffic accidents are common in China due to often overloaded vehicles and poorly trained drivers who often ignore traffic laws.
Overcrowding also contributed to the deaths of 41 people in a Henan bus fire in July. Operators frequently take on extra passengers outside official stops and stations in order to expand thin profit margins, but this can lead to overloading and bypassed safety checks.
The holiday also saw Chinese railway police catch 1,777 ticket scalpers around the country, according to Xinhua.