Twenty-seven people were killed and 20 more were injured when a COVID-19 quarantine bus overturned on a mountain road in China late Sunday night, according to multiple local reports.
The bus was transporting Chinese citizens for isolation as part of China’s strict zero-COVID policy, leading to an outburst of anger on Chinese social media. The crash took place in China’s southern Guizhou region, which accounts for the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The bus crash quickly spiked to the number one trending topic on China’s Weibo, essentially a clone of Twitter.
“What proof do you have that you won’t be on that bus at night someday?” one user wrote, according to the Guardian.
“Who said we’re not on that bus late at night, we’re clearly all there. We’re all on this terrifying, dark bus,” read a top-rated reply.
Local police announced news of the crash on social media, garnering 12,000 shares. Censors soon kicked in due to the backlash against China’s COVID-19 policies, however, and the crash was removed from the top 50 trending topics, the outlet reported.
Images of the bus circulated widely on social media before being removed, reportedly showing the vehicle with its front-end roof entirely caved in.
Across China, 65 million citizens in more than 30 cities have been placed under stringent measures of quarantine, according to the Chinese business magazine Caixin. Government policies require the mass relocation of individuals who test positive for the virus.
The World Health Organization has described China’s Zero-COVID policy as “unsustainable,” saying recent variants of the virus are too contagious for quarantine policies to succeed.
Julia Musto contributed to this report.