At least three young children were killed and more injured when the roof fell in on two classrooms at a private kindergarten in Yongqing county, Hebei province on Saturday.
The kindergarten has nine teachers and 190 students, although it’s unclear how many people were in the building when the roof suddenly collapsed at around 4:00 p.m. as the kids were waiting to get picked up, according to NetEase News. The report added that it is not yet known whether the school has a proper teaching license.
A villager named Chen Min who was quoted in a Southern Metropolis Daily report said that he heard a call for help over XuJie Village’s loudspeaker and arrived at the Chunlei Kindergarten along with a dozen other villagers for the rescue effort.
“We tried to dig out the children with our hands. I saw four or five children found and taken to hospital. One boy was dying after he was dug out,” he said. “Villagers gave him artificial respiration and cardiac massage. But he was very pale. I guessed he had little chance of survival after I saw that.”
The classrooms, located in rows of houses, had been rented from the village committee and renovated to take in extra students, police said. No official approval for that work had been issued and officials from the kindergarten are under investigation.
Villagers described the building as “dilapidated”.
[Images via NetEase]