A traffic jam on a Chinese highway. (File photo/CNS)
Six people, including five German nationals and a Chinese driver, have died and 14 others have been injured after a tourist bus rear-ended a container truck and caught fire near Beijing on Monday, police said.
The bus, which had a license plate from Beijing, was carrying a group of German tourists and was driving on an expressway linking the capital with the neighboring port city of Tianjin when the accident happened at around 8:30am, said police authorities in Tianjin.
Police said the tour group was organized by the Beijing-based China Youth Travel Service.
The bus driver died at the scene. The identities of the other victims are still unknown.
It is also unclear how many people were traveling in the bus. Witnesses said they saw a few people escape from the flames.
Photographs posted by witnesses on the web showed the whole vehicle engulfed in flames and dark smoke.
The injured passengers are being treated at the People's Hospital in Tianjin's Wuqing district.
The German embassy in Beijing has sent personnel to Wuqing.
The wreckage of the bus has been removed from the road after the flames were extinguished and police have cleaned up the debris.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation.