A man attacked pupils with a hammer at a primary school in Beijing, injuring 20 and leaving at least three children in a serious condition. The suspect, who turned out to be a sacked maintenance worker, has been detained.
The incident happened at around 11:15am local in the city’s Xicheng district, police said. The details of the attack are unclear but initial unconfirmed reports suggested that the suspect was wielding a knife.
All of the victims were hospitalized. Three of the children sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries and remain in a stable condition.
According to local news outlets, a video circulating on Chinese social media shows a head teacher saying that the attacker worked at the same school.
“A worker at our school attacked 20 students in a first-floor stairwell,” the teacher said, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
Other reports suggested that the attacker may have worked as a janitor at the school in the past.
The suspect has been detained.
Stabbing attacks on primary schools and children’s daycare centers have become more common in China in recent years. In 2017, a man in his 40s injured 12 children with a vegetable knife during a rampage in the southern city of Pingxiang. He was executed last week.
In October, a 39-year-old woman stormed a kindergarten in Chongqing, southwest China, injuring 14 kids with a kitchen knife.