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Bus toll 15 as fleeing driver held by police

By Xu Chi (Shanghai Daily)

08:51, December 14, 2011

Police have detained a driver who fled after the school bus he was driving overturned into a ditch, killing at least 15 children.

Twelve died at the scene while three critically injured children died in hospital early yesterday.

Eight injured children are still being treated in hospital, local government said.

One of the injured is in a critical condition and two are in intensive care being treated for a buildup of fluid in their lungs. The others are recovering, local officials said.

The accident happened in the city of Xuzhou in east China's Jiangsu Province at 5:50pm on Monday when the bus suddenly overturned into a one-meter deep roadside ditch, with some students trapped and drowning in the freezing water. According to investigators, the driver was trying to avoid hitting a pedicab.

The bus, which had a capacity of 52, collected 46 students from a nearby elementary school and was taking them home. At the time of the accident there were 29 students on board, officials said.

Water flowed into the bus, drowning some pupils while suffocating others trapped at the bottom of the overturned vehicle, Sun Feng, a government official, said.

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