Eleven dead after kindergarten bus fell into pond in central China

CHANGSHA - Eleven people, including eight kindergarten children, died after a minivan fell into a pond in central China's Hunan Province.

The accident occurred at about 5pm on Thursday in a mountainous village near Changsha, capital of Hunan, Xinhua news agency reported. The bus was carrying the children home from their kindergarten in the city of Xiangtan, adjacent to Changsha.

There were eight children, two teachers and a driver aboard when the accident happened, according to local authorities.

After hours of rescue work, the minivan was hauled out of the pond at around 3am on Friday with eight children and a driver inside, Xinhua reported. The bodies of the two teachers were found about an hour later.

The accident was not immediately discovered as the scene was remote and sparsely populated, said the report.

The minivan has only seven seats. "It was commonplace for the kindergarten vehicle to overload," the father of a child on aboard told Xinhua.