BEIJING -- The head of a Chinese kindergarten has been sentenced to seven years in prison for a school bus crash that killed 19 children and two adults last year.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the Zhengning county court in northwest China's Gansu province handed out the verdict Friday against Li Jungang, who was convicted of a traffic accident crime.
A makeshift school bus for the privately run Little Doctor Kindergarten collided head-on with a truck in November. Nineteen kindergarteners, one teacher and the bus driver died in the crash.
The bus had been converted from a nine-seat freight van, but was carrying 64 people at the time of the accident. The remaining 43 people on the bus were injured, Xinhua said. Li, the board chairman of the kindergarten, also was the owner of the vehicle.
The crash caused public uproar on school bus safety in rural China, where education funds are in shortage and children are forced to travel far to get an education because of school closures. As the demand for school buses increases, overcrowding on buses is common.
The family of Li plans to appeal the verdict, Xinhua said