At least 15 children were killed when a school bus fell into a river in China's eastern province of Jiangsu.

Authorities said 46 people were in the bus when it fell into the river as the driver was trying to avoid an electric bicycle.

The accident comes just a few weeks after a crash that led to the deaths of 19 preschoolers and two adults in rural Gansu province. The tragedy had prompted Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to promise more government funds to provide improved school bus services. An announcement last month that China had donated new school buses to Macedonia further inflamed public sentiment.

A day before the present accident, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council published draft regulations aimed at improving school bus safety. Rural areas in China in particular are known for unsafe transportation for children in ageing, badly maintained vans and trucks.