14 Dec 2011

Children killed in school bus crash

10:02 am on 14 December 2011

Fifteen children have been killed in China after their school bus veered off a road into an irrigation ditch in eastern Jiangsu province.

Officials said many of the children drowned when ditch water gushed into the overturned vehicle on Monday.

The accident happened as the 29 children were being driven home from school along a rural road in Fengxian county.

The bus driver apparently swerved to avoid a motorised rickshaw.

Officials said the bus could carry 52 people and was not overloaded.

The BBC reports there has been a national outcry over recent similar incidents as school buses are often overloaded in China.

On Sunday, the government issued draft measures to guarantee children's safety, including compulsory checks on buses and their drivers.

Monday also saw another crash involving a school bus, this time in southern Guangdong province.

Xinhua news agency reported 37 pupils were injured after the bus carrying 59 children, was hit by a truck.