BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- A State Council investigation team has identified 42 people responsible for a deadly tour bus fire that killed dozens, an official with the team said Friday.
A bus carrying 57 people crashed into the guardrail on a highway in central China's Hunan Province and went up in flames on June 26, 2016.
An oil leak caused the blaze, which killed 35 people, in what the team called an "extremely serious work safety accident," the official said.
The team's findings have led to criminal compulsory measures on 21 individuals, while 21 local officials, including a vice mayor, received disciplinary and administrative penalties.
The bus driver, identified as Liu Dahui, is accused of fatigue driving and being directly responsible, according to the official, adding that Liu had not slept for days and lost control of the vehicle.
It was found that the bus door could not open wide enough after the crash, and emergency hammers for window-breaking were not accessible to the trapped passengers, mostly tourists.
Chaos set in as Liu and the tour guide fled through the window next to the driving seat without organizing an escape, the official said.
The accident injured a further 13 people and caused direct economic losses of over 22.9 million yuan (3.3 million U.S. dollars).
The regulation on work safety issued by the State Council identifies "extremely serious" accidents as those that kill more than 30 people, seriously injure 100, or result in over 100 million yuan in direct economic losses.
China has vowed to optimize its supervision and management mechanism as well as laws and regulations to significantly reduce work accidents by 2020, according to a guideline issued in December 2016.
In 2015, there were 38 extremely serious or serious accidents, with almost 300 casualties, official data showed.