11 children die after overloaded minivan collides with lorry in China

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Eleven Chinese children were killed when their overloaded minivan on its way to a nursery collided with a lorry on Wednesday (Nov 19) in Penglai, Shandong province, east China. 

Online images showed young children’s bodies packed into a vehicle, engulfed by sand and with its roof crushed by the large tipper truck that had shed its load over it.

A local television station said that the woman driver also died in the collision with three other children injured.

"This model of vehicle should only take five passengers," the Beijing News said.

Xinhua news agency cited police as saying the minivan was designed for eight passengers "but was overloaded at the time of the accident".

“Why was this minivan carrying 14 children?” asked a post on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

“Scores of children die each year this way, it is completely unacceptable,” said another.

Previous cases

The incident in Shandong province is the latest in a string of fatal school bus accidents in China over recent years that have sparked nationwide outrage over slack safety enforcement.

In July, eight children were killed when a minivan taking them home from nursery plunged into a reservoir in a hilly area near Changsha in central China.

In Nov 2011, 20 children and two adults were killed, while 42 children were injured when their nine-seater school bus – which had been illegally converted to hold 64 people – crashed head-on with a coal truck in Gansu province, northwest China.

The head of the institution was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2012.

Source: AFP

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