Anger over deadly China kindergarten minibus crash
- 17 November 2011
- From the section Asia
There has been anger in China following a crash involving a kindergarten minibus in Gansu province that left 18 young children and two adults dead.
The bus had just nine seats, yet had 64 people crammed on board when it collided with a truck on Wednesday.
Members of the public have been expressing their outrage on internet micro-blog sites about the country's lax safety standards.
The government has now ordered checks on all school buses.
The accident happened on Wednesday morning when the minibus crashed head-on with a coal truck in foggy conditions.
Four children and the bus driver died at the scene of the accident, which happened in Zhengning county in Gansu province.
The others, including a teacher, died later that day. The remaining 44 pre-school children are in hospital, with a dozen of them in a serious condition.
"The [work safety] bureau has blamed overloading for the accident," said on article on the state-run Xinhua news agency. The van was also in bad condition.
'One of many'
Micro-blogging sites have become extremely popular in China over recent months as an outlet for people to express their unhappiness with the government.
In the hours following this accident, people started showing their indignation.
"How could they put over 60 kids into a bus that is restricted to just nine people?" asked one posting.
Lu Dan, a magazine editor, wrote: "We are crying our hearts out - let it be the last place that such an accident occurs."
Some of these critical postings now appear to have been censored.
Many feel there are too many accidents in China involving school children, a fact acknowledged by Xinhua. "The accident is one of many in China involving school buses or students," it said.
A total of 70,000 people died in road accidents in China last year, according to the police.
But a study published earlier this year by the World Health Organisation says the true toll may be far higher, as the number of fatalities given by China's health authorities is almost double those recorded by the police.