A speeding luxury car driven by the son of a provincial ruling Chinese Communist Party official rammed a group of students crossing a road in front of a primary school in Liaoning province, killing five of them and injuring 18 others, weeks after a similar incident claimed 11 lives.
Police in the city of Huludao in northeastern Liaoning province said an Audi car hit the children outside the No 2 Primary School in Jianchang county, state-run China Beijing Youth Daily reported.
According to CCTV camera footage posted online by the state-run Global Times, the motorist was driving on the wrong side of the road when the vehicle hit the group of about 30 children, throwing some of them into the air. The video was later taken down.
At least five children were killed and 18 others injured in the accident.
Some of the casualties were first-grade and kindergarten pupils at the school, while others were yet to be formally identified, the report said.
An employee at the school said the pupils were crossing the road during a lunch break.
“There were about a dozen or so (injured), some had severe injuries while others were less severe,” Beijing Youth Daily quoted the staff member as saying.
Another witness said they saw ambulances and police cars rush to the scene, as well as children’s shoes and blood on the ground.
The driver fled the scene but was later detained.
Beijing Time, an online news outlet owned by Beijing Radio and Television Network, quoted local police as identifying the suspect as Han Jihua, the son of the chief of the Communist Party of China in Qingniushan village in Jianchang county, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
When contacted Han’s father, he said he was abroad and had not been officially informed about the incident, the news portal said.
The father, who was not named, said the Audi was his.
Thepaper.Cn quoted an unnamed police officer as saying the suspect was caught. No drugs or alcohol were found in his car, but police ordered him to take a drug and alcohol test.
According to the officer, Han did not resist arrest and said: “I admit, I admit everything.”
Video clips posted by witnesses showed children lying on the road after the accident. The injured students were taken to hospitals.
Some videos circulating on social media showed a car ramming into the wrong side of the road and crashing into a group of school students.
Another gory footage showed at least two children lying in a pool of blood on the street with others screaming in the background.
The cause of the incident was under investigation.
Initially, it was presumed a deliberate act of violence targeting children as many such incidents in the past sated to be by disgruntled elements targeting school children.
Fatal traffic crashes frequently make headlines in China.
Attacks on the general public, especially students including the kindergarten children by the disgruntled people, were on the rise in different parts of China.
In September, a driver of an SUV vehicle deliberately crashed into crowds at a busy public square in central China’s Hunan province, killing 11 people and injuring 44 others.
The attack injured mostly elderly people who had gathered in the square by the river in Hengdong county.
In February, a van packed with gas tanks and petrol bottles caught fire and ploughed into pedestrians in Shanghai, injuring at least 18 people. PTI