Students injured in a fatal accident in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province are receiving psychological counseling, said a local hospital source on Wednesday.
Psychological counselors were talking to the students in the No. 242 Hospital in the provincial capital Harbin.
The 39 students were injured on Tuesday when a bus carrying 50 students plunged off a six-meter-high bridge in Zhoujia township near Harbin. Eight of their schoolmates died.
The survivors were visibly distressed and some were unable to speak on arrival at the hospital, said Fan Xiaohong, vice president of the hospital.
Fan said doctors thought it necessary to give counseling.
The majority of the students received head, chest or limb injuries and four underwent surgery to remove their spleens, said Fan.
All the students are from the Zhoujia town central primary school.
The provincial educational department issued an urgent instruction for all the schools and colleges to strengthen the safety education.
The Harbin city government has launched a city-wide crackdown on unlicensed school buses, overloading and speeding. It is also trying to raise safety awareness among drivers.
Police have detained Guan Jingquan, the driver, whom they claimed was not licensed to drive a bus. He allegedly holds only a type B license for trucks. Bus drivers require type A licenses.
Overloading and speeding are suspected causes of the accident. Police said the bus, which had a legal limit of 26 passengers, was carrying 52 people at the time of the accident.
(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2006)