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Van falls into pond, killing 8 children in China

Friday - 7/11/2014, 7:58am  ET

In this July 11, 2014 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a kindergarten bus is hauled out of a pond at the mountainous Ganzi Village in the Yuelu District of Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province. Eight kindergarteners and three adults died in central China after the minivan they were in crashed into a pond, state media reported Friday. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Bai Yu) NO SALES

BEIJING (AP) -- Eight kindergarteners and three adults died in central China after the minivan they were in crashed into a pond, state media reported Friday.

The bus was returning the children home from school Thursday in a mountainous village near the capital city of Hunan province when it fell into a pond, the Xinhua News Agency said.

The minivan was pulled out of the pond early Friday with the children and a driver inside, while the bodies of two teachers were found an hour later, Xinhua said.

The minivan was carrying 11 passengers even though it had only seven seats, Xinhua reported, citing the father of one of the children who died as saying it was common for the van to be overloaded.

An investigation is under way, the agency said.

Overcrowding on buses is common in China, where two years ago, 19 children died when a makeshift school bus for a kindergarten collided head-on with a truck. The bus had been converted from a nine-seat freight van, but was carrying 64 people at the time of the accident.

The crash caused public uproar about school bus safety in rural China, where there is a shortage of education funds and children are often forced to travel far to get an education because of school closures.


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