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April 11, 2014

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8 kids killed in spring outing crash

EIGHT children on a school outing were killed when their bus overturned yesterday morning on southern island province Hainan.

Thirty-two other people, including students, a teacher and the driver, were injured.

The primary school students, aged under 12, were among 586 pupils from Xincai School in Chengmai County traveling in 14 coaches to Wenchang City on a  spring outing.

Their school trip had neither  been registered nor approved by the local education bureau, reported the Hainan Daily.

About 11am in Wenchang, while making a right turn, the bus careered off the road and plunged down a slope, according to China News Agency.

Police and government officials in Wenchang have blamed the driver, surnamed Zhao, who was driving on an under-construction road made more hazardous by rain, they said.

Zhao and the school principal were held by police.

On board the bus, which was supplied by a rental company, were 47 people. There was no problem with overloading, local authorities said at a news conference yesterday.

Eight children died at the scene, while of the 32 injured, four were seriously hurt.

The injured are receiving treatment at a local hospital and 16 were discharged yesterday.

The county government has already paid 100,000 yuan (US$16,258) to the families of each of those killed, reported Xinhua news agency.

School spring outings are controversial in China following a spate of accidents and are banned in some areas.

Critics accuse schools of organizing trips on too large a scale with inadequate safety measures.

In 2011, 61 students were injured in a stampede when an elevator stopped suddenly an a zoo in Wuxi, in eastern province Jiangsu.

And in 2007, five people died when a bus taking children from Yangzhou to Nanjing in Jiangsu ran into a truck.

Investigations into yesterday’s accident are continuing.


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