Chinese police have arrested a suspect who they say scaled the walls of a nursery school before launching a chemical attack on children and teachers leaving 54 people injured.
The Kaiyuan People’s Government, in China’s south-western province of Yunnan, said 23-year-old Kong cut the barbed wire fence atop the boundary wall of Dongcheng Kindergarten before accessing the premises at roughly 3:35pm today (11th November).
Kong, who they say “acted alone”, allegedly sought out children in packed classrooms and sprayed pupils with sodium hydroxide – also known as caustic soda.
Officials say 51 pupils were injured, together with three staff members who tried to protect the children, and who tussled with the suspect throughout the attack.
Local authorities arrested Kong shortly after the attack, and all 54 victims were taken to Kaiyuan People’s Hospital and the People’s Liberation Army 926 Hospital for treatment.
Two suffered more serious chemical burns, but none was in any life-threatening condition, the municipal statement said.
Officials have identified Kong as an unemployed local resident who “lacked family warmth” due to the divorce of his parents at a young age.
The statement said Kong suffered a “twisted psyche” and sought “revenge against society” as a result of his continued lack of work.
The materials he used to create the DIY chemical weapon were purchased online, according to officials who continue to hold Kong in custody.
Investigations are ongoing.
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