Belfast Telegraph

Video: Stabbed student ran through Belfast Metropolitan College's Millfield campus covered in blood

City centre college students describe blood and 'pandemonium' at the scene

By Claire Cromie and Rebecca Black

Two students have been injured in a stabbing incident at Belfast Metropolitan College's Millfield campus.

Police said a 21-year-old man has been arrested while another man (26) has been taken to hospital where his condition is described as serious but stable.

The Belfast Telegraph understands the incident took place in a special needs class.

Scroll down for video.

One man ran through the sprawling city centre campus covered in blood.

A student said it happened in a college toilet near the arts block at about 11.15am on Thursday morning.

He described seeing a man covered in blood:"The guy who came out on the stretcher was very bloody, so I'd assume it was a knife.

"Both the guys had special needs," he said, "We are not sure what course they were on, but it was the first floor in building 2 in the bathroom.

"The police were searching all the corridors for the weapon.

"There were two ambulances and a lot of police, armed response unit and stuff like that there."

He added: "Students are pretty shocked. We just left early, we could feel the atmosphere, it is really tense. Part of building 2 was evacuated."

'Unprecedented'

Belfast Met Principal, Marie-Thérèse McGivern said the incident was unprecedented in the history of the college: "This was clearly shocking and deeply upsetting for everyone involved.

"Our absolute priority is to provide our students, staff and the families concerned with the  support they need as they seek to recover from what has been a traumatic ordeal.

"Counsellors were on site within 20 mins of the incident and will remain available for as long as our students and staff need them - the college will also continue to liaise closely with the families involved.

"I would like to commend staff for their immediate and instinctive actions in dealing with the incident."

One of the injured was taken to the Mater Hospital while the other was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Blood

Another student, Cathy Gowdy, told the BBC it was "pandemonium".

"My friend and I were coming out of our class this morning and, coming down the stairs, we noticed a lot of blood," she said.

"I just took it that it was maybe someone with a nosebleed, but when we got outside there was complete pandemonium

"There was security running everywhere and the police were running everywhere and there were two ambulances, and we just heard that someone had been stabbed"

A hospital spokeswoman said: "We are describing them both as stable."

Panic

Another pupil, 17-year-old Patrick McCaffery, said: "There was a lot of panic, especially around building two where it happened.

"Even though they evacuated half the building where it happened, on the top floor there were still a lot of people, you could see people freaking out, not knowing what was going on, it was just a case of trying to piece the pieces together."

He added: "We saw one student coming out and his face was covered in blood, it was very distressing."

"There were a number of students really upset and crying. Everyone was just in absolute shock, no-one ever expected that to happen."

Belfast Met teaches a range of academic and vocational courses for those aged 16 and over. It attracts many mature students, those hoping to go to university as well as pupils who left school at 16. The college has several campuses throughout the city.

Knife

Student Peter Lavery told the BBC a man with a knife ran towards him.

"The cubicle opened, and the door came open really fast, you could see the guy on the floor, lying there, blood coming out of what seemed like his neck, because it seemed darker round that area.

"Then the guy who had the knife came running out towards us - I only saw a small type of knife - he came running out with blood all over his hands, so we just ran out of the toilets.

"It was probably one of the scariest things I've ever seen."

The NUS-USI, a students' representative body in Northern Ireland, expressed sadness.

President Rebecca Hall said: "This is deeply tragic news. My thoughts are with the people that were injured in this incident, and I hope that they make a swift recovery.

"It's extremely shocking and sad to hear that something like this has happened. Any students who feel that they need support in light of this incident should talk to staff at their students' union."

Additional reporting by PA

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