School bus overturns, killing 8
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 email@example.com
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.