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China: 11 children killed in minivan crash


A minivan carrying 15 children to kindergarten plunged into a roadside pond in a rural area of eastern China, killing 11 children, state media and an official said.

Three children died at the scene of the accident in Guixi city in Jiangxi province and another eight died later in the hospital, said an official from the propaganda office of the city's Communist Party committee.

Four children survived, said the official, who like many Chinese bureaucrats gave only his surname, Jiang.

The accident is the latest in a string of deadly crashes in China involving schoolchildren.

Police detained the driver for questioning and were investigating the cause of the accident, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Photos on the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post's website showed a silver minivan partially submerged in a grassy pond, with one of its three windows on the right side broken.

The minivan belonged to Chunlei kindergarten, which does not have a government license to operate, according to an article on the website of state broadcaster China Central Television that did not cite any sources.

The van taking the children to school was travelling too fast and swerved to avoid a vehicle parked on the side of the road, ending up in the pond, CCTV said.

Photos on its website showed pairs of tiny shoes and brightly coloured school bags lined up on the ground near the scene and an injured child being treated.