The dead were listed as seven boys and one girl, aged between 11 and 14, while eight other students were hospitalised with serious injuries, according to Xinhua.

Evening revision sessions are a standard requirement for millions of students looking to advance in China's high-pressure, exam-centred education system.

In 2002, a similar incident at a middle school in northern China resulted in 21 children being crushed to death after a railing collapsed as students were descending a pitch-dark staircase after evening review classes.

In that case, the school head and three other people were charged with gross negligence and other crimes.