Stampede at school in eastern China kills 6 children

Sunday, November 19th 2006, 7:41 pm
By: News On 6

BEIJING (AP) A stampede on a stairwell at a school in eastern China killed six children and injured 11, state media said Monday.

The stampede occurred Saturday night when hundreds of students at Tutang Middle School in Jiangxi province's Duchang County swarmed out of their evening classes, the China Daily newspaper said.

Hundreds of students fell over each other in the stairwell between the first and second floors of the three-story building, it said.

Five girls and one boy died on their way to hospital, the newspaper said. The victims were between the ages of 12 and 13.

Another 11 students were seriously injured and were being treated at the Jiujiang No. 1 People's Hospital, the newspaper said, without giving details.

The report said one student recalled seeing a classmate squatting down to tie their shoelaces on the staircase just before the incident occurred.

The report said teachers climbed drain pipes on the outside of the building to get to the children trapped in the stairwell.

Most of the teachers had been on the first floor grading papers when the stampede occurred and many of the children were unsupervised, it said. The school principal had been detained by local authorities, the newspaper said.