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Nineteen people, 17 of them children, were killed in a collision between an overloaded school bus and a truck in northwestern China on Wednesday, local authorities and state media said.
Two adults were among those killed in the accident, which happened at 9:40 am in Yulinzi township in Gansu province, an official surnamed Du from the Gansu safety bureau told AFP.
The bus was from the local kindergarten, the official Xinhua news agency said.
A photograph posted on China National Radio's website purportedly of the accident scene showed a badly damaged orange bus -- its front section crushed from the impact -- and a red truck on a road.
The vehicles were facing each other and were surrounded by debris. The school vehicle was only designed to carry nine people, according to a witness quoted by China National Radio. An unspecified number of injured have been taken to the local hospital and the cause of the accident is under investigation, reports said. The fatal crash was the latest on China's notoriously dangerous roads, where drivers often flout traffic safety laws. At least 35 people were killed and 18 injured last month when a bus rolled after colliding with a car on a highway near the northern port city of Tianjin. In September, nine people were killed and more than 20 injured when a passenger bus rear-ended a cement truck on a highway in eastern China's Anhui province. Almost 70,000 people died in road accidents in China in 2010 -- around 190 fatalities a day -- according to police statistics. China overtook the United States in 2009 to become the world's largest auto market.
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