CHANGSHA -- Six education and traffic officials were sacked Tuesday after 14 schoolchildren were killed in a traffic accident in central China's Hunan Province, local authorities said.
A three-wheeled vehicle taking the children to a primary school plunged into a creek at 7:30 am Monday in Songjiang Township, Hengnan County in Hengyang City, leaving 14 dead and six others injured.
The children were all from Dongtang Village and travelling to school in the neighboring Yinguo Village when the vehicle ran off the road.
"Because the primary school in Dongtang had been ordered to close, we parents had to send our children to the school in Yinguo. We hired a driver to take them to the school and pick them up using a three-wheeled vehicle," said Li Yuying, mother of a dead student.
Wang Li, director of the county's education bureau, Chen Xin, head of Yinguo Primary School, and Chen Shaohua, head of the Songjiang Township Center School were sacked Tuesday over the accident, a spokesman for the county government said.
The sacked also included Yang Shixin, a township government official in charge of traffic work, Luo Shengli, an official of the county's transport bureau, and Zhou Pin, a local traffic police officer, the spokesman said.
The driver of the three-wheeled vehicle, surnamed Chen, has been detained by police, he said.
"The cause of the accident is still being investigated," he added.
The six injured children are in stable condition in a local hospital.