Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Dozens injured in school stampede

A policeman guards the entrance to the north west China school where dozens of children were hurt in a stampede (AP)

Dozens of children have been injured when a mad rush to the playground turned into a stampede at a primary school in western China.

Students at the No 5 Elementary School in Aksu city were rushing downstairs for after-class exercises on Monday when some students fell, the Xinhua News Agency reportedd. Other students then pushed to squeeze through the narrow stairway, trampling on those that had fallen.

A guardrail also collapsed, sending some students falling into the stairwell, reports added.

Xinhua reported that 41 students were admitted to Aksu's No 1 People's Hospital for treatment, with one child in critical condition from internal injuries and six seriously injured.

An official with the Aksu government's propaganda office, who gave only his surname, Lu, said an investigation was under way. It was unclear whether teachers or other adults were present during the incident.

School safety in China came under scrutiny earlier this year when a string of stabbings around the country killed and injured dozens of schoolchildren.

The attacks have prompted Chinese authorities to tighten security at schools, with police and guards posted at entrances and video surveillance and intruder alarms installed on some school premises.

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