CHINA / Regional

Kindergarten arson kills 3 kids
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-09 06:04

ZHENGZHOU: Three kindergarten students were killed and 14 others injured in an arson attack at a classroom in Central China's Henan Province yesterday.

The gruesome incident occurred at around 9 am at a kindergarten of Shiguan Village in the city of Gongyi.

Three local residents grieve their children's death in Shiguan village, central China's Henan province May 8, 2006. Bai Ningyang, a 19-year-old native set fire to a classroom of a local kindergarten on Monday, killing 3 students and wounding another 13 students and a teacher. [Newsphoto]

A 19-year-old villager, named Bai Ningyang, broke into a classroom with 21 children, locked the door and set fire with gasoline, police said.

Two kids, aged five, died on the spot; and the other in hospital. A teacher was among the 14 who suffered burns. The injured, including some in critical condition, are being treated at local hospitals.

The kindergarten has been closed, according to the police.

The arsonist escaped from the scene and is at large, police said, adding that his motive is under investigation.

But media reports say Bai loved a teacher of the kindergarten and was refused by the teacher, so he sought revenge. But these reports were not confirmed by local police authorities.  

Local police have offered a 20,000-yuan reward for Bai's capture. The city has mobilized 800 police to hunt down the arsonist.

In March, the authorities announced that they would start posting police at many schools throughout the country following a series of knife attacks on children, hostage-takings and fires.

Most of the attacks were blamed on personal grudges or people with psychiatric problems.

In October last year, a man opened fire with six homemade guns at a school yard in East China's Anhui Province as students did their morning exercises, wounding 16 children and two adults.

In October 2004, a five-year-old boy and his teacher were killed at Beixin Kindergarten in eastern Beijing.

Two months earlier, a janitor wielding a kitchen knife stabbed 15 children and at least two teachers at a kindergarten in Beijing, killing one child.

(China Daily 05/09/2006 page3)


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