Six middle school students were killed and 39 others were injured in a trampling accident happened in east China's Jiangxi Province on weekend, local government sources confirmed on Sunday.
Around 8:30 PM Saturday, after an evening class, first-grade students of Tutang Middle School in Duchang County swarmed into a staircase. They pushed and squeezed, resulting in the accident, according to sources with the Duchang government.
Six students, five male and one female aged between 12 and 13, died on their way to hospital.
The 39 students are receiving treatment or medical observation at the Duchang People's Hospital and the Duchang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital.
One injured student is in critical condition, hospital sources said.
A first-grade student experienced the accident said he saw someone squatting down to tie shoelaces at the staircase between the first and second floors of a three-story building before the accident happened. Hundreds of students walked downstairs at that time.
When the stampede took place, teachers of the school were correcting students' mid-term exam papers in office.
There were six grade-one classes in the building, each with about 80 students. Teachers should be present at the evening classes, according to school rules.
Local authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.
(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2006)