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Unnatural Deaths for 19,000 Students
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Some 19,000 Chinese students died from unnatural causes in 2006, a survey has said.


Food poisoning, drowning and traffic accidents topped the list of "killers".


Released on Wednesday at the inaugural Campus Safety and Risk Management Forum, the report was produced by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), which also sponsored the event.


It said the death toll comprised some 16,000 primary and secondary school students and about 3,000 college kids.


The survey claimed about 45 percent of the deaths resulted from students' poor safety awareness, while a further 18 percent could be attributed to poor management in schools and colleges.


A massive 80 percent of all deaths could have been prevented through better education, improved safety measures and strengthened management, the report said.


The CIRC's deputy chairman Zhou Yanli told the forum that in 2006, student accident insurance payments totaled 2.18 billion yuan (US$287 million), while school liability insurance costs were almost 100 million yuan.


The report also showed there were some 40 million reported accidents involving people under 18 last year, of which almost 10 million required hospital treatment, the cost of which was 4.26 billion yuan.


The national coverage rate of school liability insurance is just 10 percent. But a May policy document jointly released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council has said that all schools should establish a management mechanism to cope with accidental injuries.


(China Daily July 6, 2007)

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