Packed kindergarten bus crashes, 11 killed

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A kindergarten minivan plunged into a reservoir yesterday in Hunan province, China, killing 11 people, including eight children.

The vehicle was believed to be taking the children home in a hilly area near Changsha city when the accident happened, reported local media.

The bodies of the victims, who also included two teachers and the driver, were recovered early on Friday.

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

Furthermore, school closures due to a shortage of education funds means that children from rural villages have to travel farther to get an education. They're also packed on overcrowded buses.

Seven years' jail

In November 2011, 20 children from a private kindergarten and two adults were killed.

Another 42 children injured when their nine-seat school bus – which had been illegally converted to hold 64 people – crashed head-on with a coal truck in Gansu province.

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

A senior traffic police officer was sentenced to three years in prison, said a court announcement on Wednesday.

His colleague was given a suspended term of the same length, for dereliction of duty and failing to rectify problems including the kindergarten’s conversion of the vehicle.

Sources: AFP, BBC, Reuters