16 officials punished for school bus crash

Updated: 2012-08-02 15:40


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LANZHOU - Sixteen local officials in a Northwest China city of Qingyang in Gansu province have been punished for a deadly school bus crash that killed 19 kindergarten students late last year, authorities announced Thursday.

The high-ranking officials among those punished include Zhang Longjie, the head of Zhengning county in Qingyang city, Lu Huadong, Qingyang's education chief, and Zhang Yufeng, former head of Qingyang's traffic police, according to a statement issued by the provincial government of Gansu.

It said the punishments ranged from warnings to revocations of Party and government posts, but did not specify the punishment meted out to each official.

Those who were also found to be legally responsible will face criminal charges, the statement said.

Nineteen preschoolers and two adults died after the school bus they boarded - a nine-seat van carrying 64 passengers - collided head-on with a coal truck in Zhengning last November.

The accident garnered national attention, prompting authorities to order a school transportation overhaul, especially in rural areas where safety rules are not usually well enforced.

Li Jungang, board chairman of the Little Doctor Kindergarten as well as the owner of the school bus, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a local court on July 20. The driver of the truck was found to have shared minor responsibility, and he was released after serving one month in detention.