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Mainland authority send condolences over death of Taiwan tourists

BEIJING, Oct. 15 -- A Chinese mainland spokesperson expressed sympathy after three Taiwan tourists were killed by falling rocks at the Three Gorges scenic area in central China's Hubei Province on Sunday morning.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the office also offers its condolences to the families of the victims.

The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits will jointly set up a work group to help at the site of the accident, Ma said.

The State Council and ARATS have activated an emergency response mechanism and updated the Taiwan tourism agency about the tragedy via the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits, Ma said.

The three tourists were members of a group organized by a Taiwan travel agency. Two other group members were slightly injured in the accident. The remaining 39 Taiwan tourists stayed on the ship.

Hubei provincial tourism authorities have asked for strengthened efforts to guard against possible hazards to ensure the safety of tourists as the autumn flood season has begun and certain areas of the province are prone to geological disasters.