BEIJING — A car plowed into a crowd of children outside a primary school in northeastern China on Thursday, leaving 5 people dead and 18 hospitalized, state media reported.
The driver was taken into custody after the crash around noon in the coastal city of Huludao in Liaoning province, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Security camera footage showed a line of children crossing the street in front of their school when a car approaches, then changes lanes and swerves into the crowd. At least half a dozen students appear to have been hit.
Government spokesmen reached by phone said they were not authorized to release information about the crash.
While it wasn't clear if the crash was a deliberate attack, China has recently seen a number of such incidents.
Last month, a knife-wielding man drove a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians in the eastern city of Ningbo, killing two people and wounding 16.
And in September, 11 people were killed and 44 hospitalized after a man drove an SUV deliberately into people at a plaza in the central province of Hunan, before jumping out and attacking victims with a dagger and shovel.
The most common motivations are identified as mental illness, alienation from society or a desire to settle scores.
Other deadly attacks have occurred at schools, including several in 2010 in which nearly 20 children were killed, prompting a response from top government officials and leading many schools to beef up security.
However, in June, a man used a kitchen knife to attack three boys and a mother near a school in Shanghai, killing two of the children.
Last year, police said a man set off an explosion at the front gate of a kindergarten in eastern China, which struck as relatives gathered to pick up their children at the end of the day, killing eight people.