Photos: 9-seat China school bus carrying 64 crashes, kills 18 preschoolers
November 16, 2011Jing Gao6 CommentsBus, children left behind, Disaster/Accident, Hummer, migrant workers, Road traffic safety, rural area, school bus, schoolchildren, traffic fatalities, traffic rules
A school bus carrying 64 people, seven times as many as passengers it should have been, crashed head-on with a truck in Yulinzi township in northwest China’s Gansu province. At least 20 people, including 18 children, were killed. 44 were still hospitalized, including 12 critically injured.
Sixty-two children and two adults were crowded into the bus with just nine seats. The driver and a female teacher died along with the kindergarteners.
The orange ‘school bus,’ which was refitted from 8-seat minivan, became a crumpled and twisted wreckage after the crash. The impact of the crash slammed the front of the minivan into the seats, ripped open the top, whereas the truck only got its front damaged.
Injured children were rushed to a local hospital. Most of the kindergarteners on the bus were children left behind by parents working elsewhere as migrant workers. Their ages range from 3 to 6. According to some parents of the injured children, the kindergarten is the only one in the township. It enrolls almost a thousand students per year.
Overcrowding on its school bus has been a standing issue in China. In September, Ministry of Tofu posted a video of 64 Chinese preschoolers crammed into 8-seat school bus, which stunned the nation, but fails to sent a message as alarming as this fatal accident does. Chinese netizens also love to compare makeshift school buses in China with ‘impregnable school buses’ in the United States. A picture , which shows a Hummer totaled whereas the school bus is only slightly dented in a collision in Indianapolis, resurfaces and circulates like wildfire on Chinese Internet every time a substandard Chinese school bus makes the headline. This time, a microblogger contrasts the totaled Hummer picture with one of a school bus in rural China for greater irony.
Photos of previous accidents of substandard school buses.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo
4050秦勇：Which (country) respects human rights more? The picture tells everything!
ariellovearicke：In China, human lives are cheap, especially lives of those who do not have any say!
大丫二丫爸：How many places in China have school buses as a hidden peril!
畅游山海间：In China, 99.9% of children who take a school bus to school are kids of ordinary people. Kids of politicians and party cadres always have government-owned cars or specialty cars to ride and are very safe. This is the “greatness, glory and correctness” of our party. And the advantage of the socialism with Chinese characteristics.
流氓兔的觉醒：Every child is the precious of his or her parents. Children left behind are especially pitiful. Our society is developing so fast that our next generation is overlooked. When can the problems of children left behind be put on the agenda?
Jason_mam：How can parents of these kids let their own children to take a school bus like this? Speechless.
严老歪：All news reports are condemning the overloaded school bus. Why no one traces the cause of the accident? Those f**king truckers do not have any traffic rule on their minds. They should be shot dead.
开到荼靡也不行：I have heard similar news stories so many times. But the overloading of school buses is still rampant despite crackdown efforts. For the sake of children’s lives and safety, please, drivers, watch out for your feet. Slow down, slow down!
贺耀辉律师: If you still claim to be the people’s government, then start from giving our kids a safe school bus. Don’t say you have no money. Officials refrain from lavish banquets, and cadres stick to their current vehicle for a year. That would mean enough money.
晚霞中的骊歌: Ensuring safety of little children is the bottom line of a country, a society and a government that protect its people. If this bottom line cannot be met, I am not sure if this country, this society and this government still deserve to be there. Huh huh!
程中柳 : The evil Internet opens eyes of Chinese people to the world, lets Chinese ordinary people compare and differentiate.
我是默默宁：For the sake of my child, I truly wish to emigrate. Being a secondary citizen abroad is better than being a first-class citizen like this.
杨柳831: Our money intended for buying school buses have been used for buying first-class air tickets for the cadres.
世道无奈2011：How superior is socialism!
子午线是我：What evil things did I do in my previous life that landed me here in this country?
成精小妖：I would rather take my kid to school myself than hand his life to the school
摇摇晃晃悠悠917：I am really angry! So many innocent kids. So many families are shattered! Why there are so many condemnable things and people!
高劲涛: A country with money to burn cannot even protect little children. What is its point of launching manned spaceships? Child car seats, let alone school buses, remain still unregulated. Our country has become the world champion in automobile production! This microblog post is getting disturbing.
梁薇龙龙：So how can I possibly let my son take a school bus!! Even in Shanghai, most school buses are minivans painted in yellow!!! Of course there is no overcrowding, but they are still minivans anyway!!! There are so many BMWs, Mercedeses, Audis and Porcheses. Why can’t kids ride better school buses!!!