6 schoolchildren hurt in minibus rollover

Updated: 2011-12-03 08:06

By Zheng Jinran (China Daily)

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BEIJING - A minibus carrying 14 students in Langfang, a city in Hebei province, rolled over on Friday afternoon, leaving four students with fractures and two others with abrasions, authorities said.

The bus fell into a roadside ditch after having a blow-out in its left rear tire as it returned from the Gu'an No 4 School, a boarding school in Langfang's Gu'an county at about 3:50 pm, authorities said.

"The driver, Liu Zhenjiang, came to pick up his son after a snowfall and was bringing other children back to his and neighboring villages," said an official surnamed Liu with the local communications department, who declined to tell his full name.

The minibus was overloaded, carrying 14 students and an adult instead of the eight passengers maximum, according to the police investigation.

Liu, the driver, was being questioned by police.

All six injured students were brought to a hospital soon after the accident and they have no life-threatening injuries. "Their parents are staying with them in the hospital," Liu, of the communications department, said.

There have recently been several bus accidents in which students were killed or injured, heightening public and the central government's concern about school bus safety.

An overloaded van collided with a truck in Gansu province on Nov 16, killing 19 kindergartners in the van.

A school bus carrying 39 children in Fengcheng city, Liaoning province, rolled over, injuring 35, including two who suffered serious head wounds on Nov 26.

Liu Limin, vice-minister of education, said that local education authorities should not close or merge schools that failed to provide bus service. The vice-minister was attending a conference related to the children left behind in rural areas on Thursday in Chongqing.

He said this could expose these students to greater dangers or they might even drop out because of the long distance to schools.

According to statistics released by the ministry, about 22.71 million children in their compulsory education period are left over in rural areas by their migrant-worker parents, and the vice-minister said their safety en route to the schools should be given enough attention.

About one week ago, Premier Wen Jiabao pledged that China will accelerate the setting up of standards on design and production of school buses and central and local governments will share the cost of providing more school buses that meet safety requirements.

China Daily