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School killings reveal mental health woes

[ 2010-03-24 11:48]     字号 [] [] []  
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A man alleged to be mentally ill stabbed eight school children to death and injured five others on Tuesday in Fujian province, a tragedy which experts said once again points to inadequacies in the treatment of such people.

Police arrested the man identified as Zheng Mingsheng, a former community doctor in Nanping city, according to Huang Zhongping, spokesman for the city's public security bureau.

Zheng, born in 1968, is a native of Nanping and used to work at the Mazhan community clinic before he resigned in June 2009, Huang said.

Zheng is said to have a history of mental illness, and local reports said he was fired by the community clinic for mental health problems.

"Sometimes he acted abnormally but we never imagined he would do such a cruel thing," a community resident said.

The attack happened at 7:20 am at the entrance of Nanping Experimental Primary School.

Zheng charged into a group of students wielding a 25-cm knife, witness Gan Guiping, the school's PE instructor, told China Daily.

"They don't allow me to live and drive me crazy. I will not spare them," Gan recalled Zheng as shouting repeatedly.

He said the attack lasted less than a minute, and three died at the scene.

"After being stabbed, some of the students rose, stumbled a few steps and then fell," Gan said with tears in his eyes.

"I saw them die in front of me."

Cai Luyan, director of the school's moral education section, said the attack took the students by total surprise.

"A boy in Grade 1 was stabbed to death in front of his mother," Cai said.

Zheng was subdued by passers-by and school security guards, said Wu Jiachong, owner of a store who called the police.

The school, which has 2,000 students, was closed for the day and the students were taken home by families, Xinhua News Agency reported.


1: How many children died?

2: What time did the incident happen?

3: How many children attend the school?


1: eight.

2: 7.20am.

3: 2,000.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

School killings reveal mental health woes

About the broadcaster:

School killings reveal mental health woes

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.