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article imageLoose shoe causes stampede at Chinese school

By Lynn Curwin     Dec 2, 2010 in World
When an eight-year-old girl bent down to pick up a shoe which had fallen off her foot it resulted in a pile-up which left several children injured at a primary school in China.
The children were heading to the playground of a school in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at 11:55 a.m. on Monday when Madina lost her shoe on a stairwell. When she tried to retrieve it she was knocked down and buried under dozens of other children, as hundreds of those behind her, unaware of the accident, kept pushing forward.
Xinhua News Agency reported that 123 children were taken to hospital and 41 were admitted. Madina was the most severely injured, and was placed in intensive care.
"She can even sit up and take fluids," said a doctor on Wednesday.
Madina's mother, Mayrgul, said that when she first got to the hospital her daughter did not recognize her.
Aygul, a teacher, had tried to assist Madina when she saw what was taking place, but ended up being knocked down herself.
Order was restored after about 10 teachers ran to the stairwell.
"It was so frightening, everybody was crying,” Xinhua quoted eight-year-old Rezya Turusun, who ended up buried under other children, as saying.
The thick steel columns of the handrail on the stairway were broken and twisted.
The school has 1,892 students and 122 teachers.
In March, a stampede at another primary school in Urumuqi killed one child and injured three others.
Eight students were killed as a result of a stampede at a secondary school in 2009. As a result, the head of the educational bureau where the school is located was fired and the schoolmaster was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of dereliction of duty.
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