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3 students dead, 14 injured in N China road accident

(Xinhua)

08:53, March 27, 2012

SHIJIAZHUANG, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Three primary school students died and 14 others were injured after the overloaded van they boarded overturned in north China's Hebei Province on Monday, local officials said.

A primary school teacher drove the van to take 16 students to classes Monday morning. The van, designed with a maximum seating capacity of seven, slipped off a rural road at about 7:05 a.m. in the Manchu autonomous county of Qinglong, sources with the county government said.

A report issued by the government Monday afternoon raised the number of injured to 14 from the initial two, and said one of the injured remains in critical condition.

Police are still investigating the case.

A string of road accidents concerning rural school transportation occurred in China last year. The most serious case happened in November, when 21 students died after their nine-seat minivan, which was crammed with 62 preschoolers, crashed in western Gansu Province.

Authorities were prompted to announce new safety regulations and standards for school buses to ensure a safe trip to and from school for children in rural areas.

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