In the latest in a string of deadly crashes involving children in China, a school bus taking primary students home slipped off a country road into an irrigation ditch in the eastern part of the country, killing 15 kids and wounding eight others, officials said.

The Monday evening accident in Jiangsu Province has revived public furor over school bus safety and complaints about inadequate government spending on education, the New York Times reported.

According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the bus had attempted to avoid a pedicab, but ended up crashing into the ditch, which was filled with around 60 centimeters of water. The bus was reportedly carrying 29 students and was designed for 52 people. The driver, who suffered only minor injuries, has been detained by the police, Xinhua said.

The injured students were taken to nearby hospitals in the area, with at least one child reported to have serious injuries.

Last month, a coal truck in the northwestern province of Gansu slammed into an overloaded minivan that was being used as a school bus, killing 19 kindergartners and two adults. And on Monday, a school bus was hit by a truck in southern Guangdong province, injuring 37 of the 59 students on board, Xinhua reported.

After the accident in Gansu last month, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao called on government departments to rapidly create safety regulations and standards for the country's school buses while further improving the design, production, and distribution of the vehicles, state-run CCTV said.