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12 killed in primary school stampede
By Huang Zhiling (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-27 05:48

CHENGDU: Cries of "ghost" spooked 12 students to their death in a primary school stampede on Tuesday.

The tragedy occurred in Tongjiang County in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, about 600 kilometres from the capital Chengdu.

12 killed in primary school stampede
A boy receives treatment at a local hospital after getting injured in a primary school stampede in Loudi County in Central China's Hunan Province October 24, 2005. [newsphoto]

At about 8 pm, when around 480 fourth- and fifth-graders were about to leave their three-storey school building in Guangna Town after evening classes, there was a blackout and some students shouted "ghost."

The children panicked and rushed to the staircase where some fell, only to be trampled upon by the fleeing crowd.

Seven died on the spot; and five later in hospital. Of the 27 injured, seven were reported to be in a serious condition.

Mei Zhi, a 36-year-old woman, was in shock and could not accept that her 12-year-old son Ye Ye had died. "He was so cute and diligent," she wailed.

After having dinner at home, the son returned to school to study but what happened later "was really a nightmare," she said.

A teacher in the school, who did not want to be identified, denied earlier media reports that the students were killed when the dilapidated building collapsed.

"The building is new and completed only in May," he said.

(China Daily 10/27/2005 page1)

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