The story appears on

Page A8

December 10, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Stampede school sets new rules

A CENTRAL China school has revamped safety rules by rescheduling classes to avoid rush hour crowds after a stampede Monday killed eight students and injured 26.

The privately run Yucai Middle School in Xiangxiang, a small city in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, also put up notices near the stairs on all five floors of its school building yesterday, reminding students to take the nearest staircase to their classrooms for safe evacuation.

School authorities changed the day's schedule to lessen crowding before the lunch break and after the evening study session.

At those times, first-year students will be allowed to leave their classrooms 10 minutes in advance, said Liu Xiangping, deputy chief of education in Xiangxiang City. "Second-graders will leave five minutes later and third-year students will be the last to leave," Liu said.

Liu has taken charge of the school after its principal and chairman were detained on Tuesday.

The school also pushed back the evening lights-out by 10 minutes to ensure the last to leave evening study has enough time to get ready for bed, said Liu.

Yucai's school building had four exits, but when the evening study session ended at around 9:10pm on Monday, hundreds of students surged toward the one closest to their dormitory building to avoid heavy rain.

They swarmed downstairs on a 1.5-meter-wide staircase when a girl tripped and caused dozens to lose their balance and fall.

As of yesterday afternoon, 31 students were still in hospital, including the 26 injured and another five under observation. One of the five serious cases was transferred to a hospital in the provincial capital Changsha.

The campus was closed to journalists yesterday.

The school, founded in 1997, has 3,626 junior high students, mostly aged 11 to 14. It employs 140 people.

The local government has yet to reach compensation deals with the dead students' families. It promised "the maximum compensation possible" on Tuesday.

The family planning authorities, meanwhile, have offered fertility services for free to deprived "one child" parents.

The tragedy has aroused widespread concern over campus safety in China.

Zhang Fangping, head of the Hunan provincial education department, pledged to penalize school officials responsible for similar disasters. He said Hunan would launch a 10-day safety overhaul at all schools and kindergartens today.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend