China: At least five killed as car hits schoolchildren

At least 18 injured after a car rammed into a group of schoolchildren in Huludao, northeastern China, state media said.

    A car rammed into a group of schoolchildren crossing a street in front of an elementary school in northeast China, killing at least five people and injuring another 18, state media reported.

    A govenment spokesperson for Jianchang county told AP news agency that police took the driver into custody and are investigating the cause of Thursday's incident in Huludao, Liaoning province.

    The spokesperson, who declined to give his name, described the crash as "a major traffic accident", according to AP.

    Victims of the crash are undergoing medical treatment, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The incident happened around midday.

    Unverified videos circulating on social media show a car veering onto the wrong side of the road and ploughing through the line of pupils. Other footage showed at least two small children lying unconscious and bleeding on the street.

    Grisly car accidents are common in China, where transportation authorities have struggled to enforce safety regulations.

    Earlier this month, at least 13 people died when a bus plunged off a bridge in Chongqing province, after the driver got in a fight with a passenger.

    In September, 11 people died when a car struck a crowd in a public square in the central Hunan province city of Hengdong.

    Police arrested that driver, a man in his 40s, and described him as a "vengeful repeat offender".

    In February, a van packed with pressurised gas tanks and bottles full of petrol caught fire and ploughed into pedestrians in Shanghai, leaving at least 18 people injured.

    Authorities concluded that it had been a "traffic accident".

    SOURCE: News agencies