December 24, 2012 / 11:21 AM / 6 years ago

Eleven children killed in latest Chinese bus crash

A backpack floats on water after a school van carrying 15 children fell into a pond in Guixi, Jiangxi province, December 24, 2012. The accident killed 11 kindergarten children, local media reported. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - At least 11 Chinese kindergarten children died when their minivan plunged into a pond on Monday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Police detained the driver of the van, which was carrying 15 children in a rural part of the southern province of Jiangxi.

The deaths of 18 nursery school children in a bus crash in November last year caused a wave of public anger and prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to pledge more money for school bus services.

Despite the pledge, there have been a string of similar accidents. Transport is notoriously dangerous in rural China, where buses and trucks are old and badly maintained.

With more schools abandoning villages for towns, children increasingly have to travel long distances to school, or board away from their families.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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