Stampede at elementary school in China kills seven children - 26 October, 2005 - News

A stampede at an elementary school in southwest China reportedly sparked by a child's shouts of "ghost" killed seven children and injured 37, reports said Wednesday.

The cause was under investigation, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

A local newspaper reported that the stampede in Tongjiang, a county in Sichuan province, started when someone yelled that there was a ghost in the darkened stairwell and the children started running, the Chinese Web site said. It cited the Huaxi Dushi Bao, or Western China City News.

The school was built last year and authorities told Xinhua they doubted there was a structural collapse.

Students were leaving their evening classes Tuesday when the stampede occurred, Xinhua said.

Seven children died at the scene, it said. Of the 37 children who were injured, five suffered serious injuries and were being observed by hospital doctors, it said.

Tongjiang is about 1,200 kilometers (740 miles) southwest of Beijing, reports the AP.