China: 11 school kids die after van falls into pond

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 24, 2012 08:55 IST

At least 11 children died after an allegedly overloaded mini-van carrying 15 children fell into a roadside pond in eastern China’s Jiangxi province on Monday.

Three children died at the spot and the remaining succumbed to injuries in a hospital, state-run Xinhua reported.

“The plunge occurred in rural Guixi, Jiangxi Province, at about 9am. Ten injured passengers were sent to a hospital, local police said, adding that most of the casualties were children. Other details are not immediately known. Police have detained the driver for questioning and is probing the cause of the accident.” Xinhua reported.

According to the national broadcaster, CCTV’s website the mini-van belonged to Chunlei kindergarten, which doesn't have a government license to operate.

The van taking the children to school was travelling too fast and swerved to avoid a vehicle parked on the side of the road, ending up in the pond, CCTV said.

Monday’s incident comes within days of an allegedly paranoid man slashing 23 school children with a knife in central China.

Agency reports said in a similar accident involving a school van last year, 19 children had died after their van collided head-on with a truck in western China.

Last year’s accident, according to Associated Press, caused public uproar and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged more support for school bus safety and said central and local governments would bear the cost of bringing often-shoddy buses up to standard. “The kindergarten head, who owned the vehicle, was later convicted of a traffic accident crime and sentenced to seven years in prison,” it said.

 

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