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Deaths in China school stampede
Eight killed in crush at private school in central Hunan province, state media says.
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2009 12:10 GMT

A stampede at a school in central China has left eight students dead and at least 26 others injured, state media says.

The incident occurred on Monday evening at a private school in Xiangtan city, in Hunan province.

According to reports, a group of students were leaving evening study sessions when one fell on the steps, bringing down others.

School officials and the head of the city's education bureau were being questioned by the authorities over the accident, China's official Xinhua news agency said.

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.

Source:
Agencies
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