BEIJING - A car rammed into a group of children crossing a street in front of an elementary school in northeast China on Thursday, killing five children and injuring 19 others, state media said.
Police took the driver into custody and are investigating the cause of the incident in Huludao, Liaoning province, the official CCTV broadcaster said on its Weibo social media account.
Of the nineteen that were injured, sixteen were children. Two teachers and a passerby were also hurt, said CCTV.
Unverified videos circulating on social media appeared to show a car veering onto the wrong side of the road and ploughing through the line of pupils, with the impact from the crash throwing bodies across the road.
Other gut-wrenching footage showed at least two small children lying unconscious and bleeding on the street. The screams and cries of children could be heard in the background, as onlookers milled around the scene of the collision.
An eyewitness quoted by Chinese media site Sina News said that he saw "children's shoes" and "traces of blood" on the ground near the accident.
The 29-year-old driver -- who tried to flee after the accident -- was not under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, said the official Weibo account of state newspaper the People's Daily, citing the police.
It did not specify whether the driver voluntarily struck the group of children, indicating only that "the investigation continues".
Victims of the crash are undergoing medical treatment, according to CCTV. The incident happened around noon.
The ages of the victims were not released.
Police from Jianchang county in Huludao city did not immediately respond to AFP requests for comment.