School bus over­turns, killing 8

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By CANG WEI

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang urged res­cuers and doc­tors in Hainan prov­ince to pro­vide the best treat­ment and coun­sel­ing to the 32 in­jured in a bus ac­ci­dent on Thurs­day morn­ing that killed eight pri­mary school stu­dents .

The bus, which was tak­ing 43 stu­dents, two teach­ers and a driver on a trip from Cheng­mai county to Wen­chang, over­turned in Cheng­mai county at 11 am. Eight stu­dents were de­clared dead at the scene. Thirty stu­dents and two teach­ers were in­jured.

Xin­hua News Agency on its of­fi­cial Weibo ac­count re­ported that a 7-year-old sur­vivor said the bus tried to make a turn be­fore it over­turned. Xin­cai School had or­ga­nized the out­ing for 586 of its stu­dents us­ing 14 buses, ac­cord­ing to the county govern­ment.

The pri­vate school al­legedly ar­ranged the out­ing with­out per­mis­sion from the lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment. The govern­ment of Cheng­mai county said it has de­tained the people re­spon­si­ble for the in­ci­dent.

Li asked the ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment to strengthen the man­age­ment of school trips to pro­tect stu­dents and pre­vent ac­ci­dents from hap­pen­ing.

“Among the four se­verely in­jured and 28 slightly in­jured, 16 people have been sent to provin­cial- level hos­pi­tals to re­ceive bet­ter treat­ment,” said Ji Ji­ayuan, deputy di­rec­tor of the pub­lic­ity depart­ment of Wen­chang. “Six­teen oth­ers who were in­jured have re­ceived treat­ment and will go home if doc­tors ap­prove of their re­lease.”

More than 10 med­i­cal ex­perts from hos­pi­tals in the prov­ince have been sent to Wen­chang to treat the in­jured stu­dents. The gov­ern­ments of Cheng­mai county and the city of Wen­chang have pro­vided 100,000 yuan ($16,100) in com­pen­sa­tion to each fam­ily whose child died in the in­ci­dent.

Luo Baom­ing, Party chief of Hainan prov­ince, has or­dered the provin­cial ed­u­ca­tion bureau to in­ves­ti­gate.

There have been a num­ber of ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing school buses or other ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing stu­dents in China.

In Oc­to­ber 2013, a trailer hit a school bus in Dong­guan, Guang­dong prov­ince, killing two stu­dents and in­jur­ing three oth­ers.

In Septem­ber 2013, a school bus for a pri­mary school in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, ran into an­other ve­hi­cle, killing one and in­jur­ing 15 oth­ers.

In April 2012, more than 30 stu­dents com­ing back from an out­ing in Pinghu, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, were in­jured when their bus over­turned on a high­way.

In Dec 2011, an ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a school bus in Xuzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, killed 15 and in­jured mul­ti­ple pri­mary school stu­dents.

Many ed­u­ca­tion bu­reaus and schools across the coun­try have since sus­pended or can­celled group out­ings.

Ding Qiang, a pri­mary school teacher in Suqian, Jiangsu prov­ince, said he will not ar­range out­ings for his stu­dents even if lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion bu­reaus al­low them.

“Though I think stu­dents need to have out­ings to ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty of na­ture and par­tic­i­pate in group ac­tiv­i­ties, I can­not af­ford the con­se­quences if any ac­ci­dent hap­pens,” Ding said.

“It is al­ways con­sid­ered the fault of the teach­ers and the schools. Some par­ents will de­mand huge amounts in com­pen­sa­tion if their chil­dren get hurt in the out­ings.” Con­tact the writer at cang­wei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

PHOTO BY QIN RONGSHU / FOR CHINA DAILY

Res­cuers carry an in­jured per­son off an over­turned bus in Wen­chang, Hainan prov­ince, on Thurs­day. A pri­vate school or­ga­nized a trip for 586 stu­dents on 14 buses.

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