Twelve people, including 11 kindergarteners, were killed in a traffic accident in Weihai city in China’s Shandong province on Tuesday.
In an incident that brought the issue of school bus safety back into the spotlight, a bus carrying young children crashed and burst into flames in a tunnel yesterday morning.
The accident took place at about 9 am when kids aged between 3 and 6 were heading for Zhongshi International Kindergarten, which serves both Korean and Chinese students in Weihai.
According to Xinhua news agency, eleven kids and the bus driver died on the spot after the vehicle crashed into a truck and caught fire.
Five of the eleven dead children were South Koreans while six were Chinese.
Apart from the 12 dead, a teacher suffered serious injuries and has been admitted to a hospital.
According to reports, the school bus was passing through the Taojiakuang Tunnel when it suddenly crashed into a garbage truck from behind, possibly due to a slippery road after rain.
The impact was so severe that the bus burst into flames immediately.
When firemen arrived and tried to rescue the 13 people on board, it was too late for the school kids and the bus driver. Only the teacher survived.
Media reports cited a witness as saying that traffic jam in the tunnel made the rescue operation very difficult.
Leaning about the mishap, Hwang Kyo-ahn, acting president of South Korea, expressed deep condolences and asked his administration to do all it can to help the affected South Korean families.
The government of Waihai, a city that has attracted large investment from South Korean firms due to its geographic proximity to the country, has launched an investigation into the accident.
- Contact us at [email protected]