436,000 yuan payouts for relatives of 21 killed in school minibus crash
The families of the 21 people killed in Wednesday's school bus accident in Gansu will each receive 436,000 yuan (HK$534,235) in compensation from the local authorities.
The semi-official China News Service said yesterday the Zhengning county government in Qingyang prefecture had drafted a compensation plan over the 19 children and two adults who died.
The nine-seater minibus - carrying 62 kindergarten pupils aged between 21/2 and six, plus a driver and a teacher - collided with a coal truck on Wednesday morning as it was travelling to the Xiaoboshi private kindergarten in Yulinzi township. The other 43 children on board were injured, 11 of them seriously.
The CNS report did not say whether the injured would receive compensation from the local government, but it did say that China Life Insurance had confirmed that three of the dead children and nine of the injured were covered by commercial insurance, which meant that some victims would get more compensation.
Authorities have blamed overloading for the accident, but Zhang Hong - one of four drivers hired by the kindergarten, whose wife was the teacher killed in the accident, with their 21/2-year old daughter also among the dead - said he believed that the driver killed in the crash, Yang Haijun , had been speeding on the way to the school.
'Yang, in his 40s, loved speeding ... many parents complained about him but none of them reported their concerns to school leaders,' Zhang was quoted as saying in a report that was posted on the website of the People's Daily.
'I hope you media and our government urge all school drivers not to speed, please,' he sobbed.
Zhang's suspicion was confirmed by Zuo Jianghua , deputy director of the information department in Qingyang, which oversees Zhengning county. Zuo said an initial investigation showed that speeding, wet road conditions and a lack of supervision contributed to the accident.
The Ministry of Education has ordered a nationwide inspection of school buses used by kindergarten and primary school pupils in the wake of the accident.
Xinhua reported that hundreds of people in Lanzhou , Gansu province, went to a city square on Thursday night to lay flowers and pay tribute to the victims.
The number of kindergarten pupils who were on board the nine-seater minibus when it collided head-on with a coal truck on Wednesday