Gansu School Bus Crash Sparks Anger

Posted November 21st, 2011 at 1:28 am (UTC+0)
1 comment

Chinese police stand beside a damaged school bus after it collided with a red truck on a road in the Yulinzi township in northwest China's Gansu province on November 16, 2011. (AFP)

Since a small bus carrying 62 children crashed into a coal truck in Gansu province (甘肃), killing 18 children and 2 adults last week, Chinese microblogs have erupted with tens of thousands of angry posts.

The bus was only a nine-seater and was severely overcrowded at the time of the accident (甘肃校车事故). The Xinhua news agency says authorities have blamed the overcrowding for causing the accident.

Since the tragedy hit, China’s netizens have started discussing the country’s priorities, especially how much is spent on the education industry.

The 21st Century Business Herald (21世纪经济报道), a State-run newspaper, published lists illustrating the costs of cars used by the employees of government bodies each year next to a list of accidents similar to the one in Gansu over the last two years.

Jiexiu city, Shanxi province (山西省介休市): 7 dead, Jingzhou city, Hubei province (湖北省荆州市): 2 dead, Sanya city, Hainan province (海南省三亚市): 1 dead, Xinjiang Autonomous Region (新疆维吾尔自治区): 3 dead, Mentougou in Beijing (北京门头沟地区): 1 dead, Jiaxing city, Zhejiang province (浙江嘉兴市秀洲区): 15 injured etc…

Administration of Taxation (国家税务总局): RMB 148623.60 or $23392, Administration of Customs (海关总署):  RMB45026.17 or $7087, Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (质量监督检验检疫总局), the Banking Regulatory Commission (中国银监会) etc…

The same newspaper also did a bar graph showing government Financial Income (blue), Income in Taxes (purple), Payout for Finance (pale yellow) and Payout for Education (pale blue).

The pie chart next it shows the comparison between total GDP and amount spent on education. Click on the chart to see the full sized version on the  21st Century Business Herald‘s site.

A gallery from the funeral of the children is available from

Each parent will be compensated RMB400,000, but only after they’ve buried their child.  But this has also sparked online anger as many  have wondered if it is part of a cover-up.

Lawyer Chu Yunnan wrote on QQ’s very popular microblog:

“What use it that we have such a high GDP when we don’t have the basic benefits, causing such a tragic car crash.”

On Phoenix net, a popular online news forum, commentator Wei Yingjie wrote:

I once saw a internet video where a car that was meant for 6 people fitted 66 kids. Later the traffic police helped the kids out from what looked like a cage. As they disembarked one by one, I felt pained and angry. This isn’t because of the education system’s lust for gain, and also not because of the lack of supervision. In reality it is caused for the coldness of everyone.

One response to “Gansu School Bus Crash Sparks Anger”

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