Eight young children were killed in a school attack in the central Chinese province of Hubei on Monday. It was their first day of class.
The attack took place at the Chaoyangpo Elementary School in Hubei’s Enshi City. According to a statement from the local government, a 40-year-old man surnamed Yu attacked students at the school at 8 a.m. local time, when students would have been arriving for class.
He is in police custody.
Eight were killed and another two were injured. No details were given on the students’ injuries or their individual ages. In China, elementary school children range in age from 6 years old to 13.
“The local party committee and government is all out organizing rescue and remedial work,” the statement from Enshi City government said.
A separate statement by the Enshi City police was originally posted on Chinese social media site Weibo but was later removed without explanation. The hashtag “school criminal case in Hubei” had gained 120 million views on Weibo as of Tuesday morning.
Attacks on schoolchildren in China have happened before. In October, at least 14 children at a kindergarten in Chongqing were slashed by a woman with a kitchen knife.
In April 2018, nine students were killed and others injured after a male suspect began attacking students in Shaanxi province.
September 2 marked the start of a new school semester in China after the summer break.
According to state-run tabloid Global Times, the local government is providing psychological counseling services to the students who witnessed or were injured in Monday’s attack.