Driver ‘started bus fire’ in China that killed 11 children, state media reports

Five South Korean youngsters were among those killed in the blaze in Shandong province last month

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 June, 2017, 2:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 June, 2017, 2:51pm

A fatal fire on a bus last month in China that killed five South Korean and six Chinese children is suspected to have been started by the driver, the state-run news agency Xinhua said on Friday.

The eleven young children were killed along with their driver when their bus crashed and burst in to flames in a tunnel in eastern Shandong province.

Xinhua said the fire “was allegedly set by the bus driver”. It did not give any other details.

The bus had been transporting the children, all aged between three and six, to an international kindergarten in Weihai, a city across the Yellow Sea from South Korea.

Five South Korean children among 12 fatalities in bus blaze in China

Beijing does not release statistics on the total number of accidents each year, but the World Health Organisation estimated in 2013 that about 250,000 people were killed on China’s roads that year.

Beijing has vowed to clamp down on dangerous driving, but the rapid growth in car ownership and relatively lax checks on driving ability have made it difficult to curb the number of accidents, especially on rural roads.