Wedding in China ends with 16 deaths on the road

An overcrowded passenger vehicle returning from a wedding party plunged off a cliff in central China, killing 16 members of an extended family, state media reported Thursday.

Another 16 people were injured six of them seriously when the small truck packed with 32 wedding guests "veered off the road and over a cliff" in central China's Hubei province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Liu Xiangdong, deputy head of the provincial safety office, blamed bad weather and overloading of the truck for Wednesday's accident.

"The truck was only allowed to carry four people, but the actual passenger number was eight times more," Liu was quoted as saying, reports AP.

Xinhua had earlier reported that the groom, Li Zhimin, who was driving the truck, had died at the scene of the accident but later said he had survived but was in critical condition.

China's roads are among the world's deadliest. Overloading of vehicles, reckless driving and poor road conditions are frequent causes of fatal accidents.

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