Eight school children killed in Chinese bus crash

BEIJING Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:13am EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Eight school children died in a bus crash on China's southern island province of Hainan on Thursday on their way to a school outing, state media reported, in the latest in a string of traffic accidents to fuel public anger.

Accidents involving vehicles carrying school children have become a sensitive issue in China after a series of gruesome incidents in recent years.

In 2011, a nationwide outcry erupted over the deaths of 18 nursery school children after a coal truck slammed into their overcrowded school van in northwestern China.

The tragedy prompted then-premier Wen Jiabao to promise more government funds to improve school bus services.

Xinhua, the official news agency, reported that 32 children were injured in Thursday's accident, four of them seriously, when the bus, travelling along with 13 others, overturned.

The cause of the crash is being investigated, it added.

China's rural areas are known for providing unsafe transport for children in aging, badly maintained vans and trucks.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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