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11 children die in 'overloaded' minivan in China

20 November 2014, 08:13

Beijing - Eleven Chinese children were killed when an "overloaded" minivan taking them to nursery collided with a lorry on Wednesday, media reported, and the latest accident to fuel anger over crowded school buses.

Online images showed young children's bodies packed into a vehicle, engulfed by sand and with its roof crushed by the large tipper truck that had shed its load over it.

The female driver also died in the collision in the eastern province of Shandong, the local television station said, adding that three other children were injured.

"This model of vehicle should only take five passengers", the Beijing News said, while Xinhua cited police saying it was designed for eight passengers "but was overloaded at the time of the accident".

The incident in Penglai is the latest in a string of fatal school bus accidents in China over recent years that have sparked nationwide outrage over slack safety enforcement.

In July, eight children were killed when a minivan taking them home from nursery plunged into a reservoir in a hilly area near Changsha in central China.

Also read: China bus crash kills 16 including 11 students

In November 2011, 20 children from a private kindergarten and two adults were killed, with another 42 children injured when their nine-seat school bus, which had been illegally converted to hold 64 people crashed head-on with a coal truck in Gansu province.

The head of the institution was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2012.

"Why was this minivan carrying 14 children?" one person posted on Wednesday on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

"Scores of children die each year this way, it is completely unacceptable", another said.



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