At least 41 students on crashed school bus

Updated: 2011-12-15 06:26


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FENGXIAN, Jiangsu - At least 41 students were on board the school bus that fell into a ditch on Monday in Fengxian county, in East China's Jiangsu province, local authorities said Wednesday.

According to the confession of the bus driver, Hong Xu, there were 47 on board when the accident happened. However, the figure could only be confirmed as 41 with the evidence currently available, said the Fengxian county police bureau in a press release.

The figure of 41 includes the 23 students who were sent to hospital, 15 of whom died, and 18 others who were recorded by a nearby camera leaving the scene after the accident.

The new confirmed number represents a drastic rise from previous estimates. On Monday, local authorities had put the number of students on board at 29.

As of Wednesday evening, there are still eight students receiving medical care. Five are in stable conditions and another three are in critical conditions.

The accident occurred at 5:50 pm on Monday. The bus was taking students home when it veered into a roadside ditch after the driver tried to avoid colliding with a pedicab.

Students became trapped at the bottom of the overturned vehicle and drowned as water gushed into the wreck.

The county government is now drafting a compensation and subsidy plan for the victims' families. All school buses in Fengxian county have been suspended for rectification.