Eight Children Die in China When School Van Plunges Into Pond

An overloaded kindergarten minivan plunged into a pond in China, killing the eight children and three adults inside, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Rescue crews didn’t immediately learn about the accident because the village where it occurred in central China’s Hunan province is so remote, Xinhua said. The passengers’ bodies were retrieved about 10 hours after the bus swerved from the road and fell into the pond yesterday, it said. The vehicle was meant to carry seven people.

The accident may renew criticism of Chinese authorities over school bus safety after accidents involving overloaded school buses killed dozens of children in recent years. Former Premier Wen Jiabao said in 2011 the government should improve school bus safety.

Wen spoke days after a nine-seat private school van carrying 62 kindergarten children crashed into a truck, killing 19 children and two adults. More than a year later, the crash of a seven-seater minivan with 17 people aboard killed 11 children.

— With assistance by Nick Wadhams

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