Overloaded boat carrying primary school and college students sank on a river in Shaoyang, Hunan province, killing at least 12 children, reported Sunday the official Xinhua news agency.
These children were boarded the ferry to cross the river Friday, and joining their families on the occasion of annual festivals in China.
The boat was designed to carry 14 passengers but at least 50 people had boarded, said Xinhua.
According Caixin, a famous magazine in China, the owner of the ferry said the ship was carrying between 80 and 90 passengers when it sank.
Three officials， including deputy mayor of the county were dismissed because of the accident, said Xinhua.