41 injured in stampede at school
ONE child was in a critical condition last night and six others were severely injured after a stampede at a primary school in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The accident happened at the No. 5 Primary School in Aksu City as students were rushing down a flight of stairs near lunchtime yesterday.
Some students in front fell and those behind, unable to stop, also fell or continued to trample over their schoolmates, witnesses said.
Shocked students were crying and frightened, said Zhang Yuping, an officer with Aksu’s first-aid center that sent five ambulances to take the students to hospital.
A total of 123 children were given medical check-ups and 41 were admitted to Aksu’s No. 1 People’s Hospital, officials at Aksu’s emergency-response office said.
One child suffered serious injuries to internal organs and was in a critical condition, six were badly injured and 34 others received light injuries, officials said.
The regional government set up a team of investigators, headed by a vice chairman of Xinjiang, to fly to Aksu. Heavy fog, however, has delayed their departure.
Authorities have begun an investigation into the stampede at the school, which has more than 1,800 students.
In 2005, a stampede at another primary school in Aksu left one boy dead and 64 injured when students were rushing outside to attend a morning flag-raising ceremony in the playground.
In 2009, a stampede at a secondary school in central China’s Hunan Province left eight students dead and 26 others injured.
The chief of the educational bureau of Xiangjiang City, where the school is located, was sacked following the tragedy and the schoolmaster jailed for 18 months.
Nurses attend to a student injured in a school stampede in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The boy was one of 41 pupils admitted to hospital after the accident. Children at the No. 5 Primary School in Aksu City were rushing outside to the playground at lunchtime when some tripped and fell. One pupil is in a critical condition. — Xinhua