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Kindergarten chairman detained over fatal school bus accident in NW China

(Xinhua)

09:29, November 18, 2011

ZHENGNING, Gansu, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- The head of a kindergarten in northwest China's Gansu Province has been detained after a school bus accident on Wednesday that killed 20 people.

Li Jungang, chairman of the Little Doctor Kindergarten in Zhengning County in the city of Qingyang, was detained on Wednesday because of liability issues, Zuo Jianghua, a spokesman for the Qingyang city government, said on Thursday.

Fan Jungang, the driver of a truck that collided with the school bus, was also detained for causing the accident, said Zuo.

Two deputy county chiefs and the heads of the county's education bureau and traffic department have been suspended from duty following the accident.

The accident occurred in Yulinzi township of Zhengning County, where a nine-seat school bus illegally carrying 64 people collided head-on with a coal truck, killing 18 preschoolers and two adults and injuring another 44.

Parents of students at the kindergarten said school bus overloading has been a problem for years, despite repeated complaints.

An initial investigation showed that the school bus had its seats removed to make room for more passengers and was speeding in adverse weather conditions, Zuo said.

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