Two earthquake survivors weep as they take in the devastation left by last week's earthquake in Beichuan, in China's southwest Sichuan province, Thursday, May 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu
BEIJING - China has acknowledged for the first time that more than 19,000 students died in the massive earthquake that struck Sichuan province in May.
The earthquake left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing, but the government had never said how many of the casualties were students. Their deaths caused protests and anger among parents,
because of reports that many of the schools that collapsed had been
built with substandard materials.
Wei Hong, the executive vice governor of Sichuan, announced the
student death toll of 19,065 at a news conference Friday morning.