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Attacker Scaled Kindergarten Wall, Sent 54 to Hospital: Cops

Chinese suspect reportedly sought revenge on society
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2019 8:47 AM CST
Updated Nov 12, 2019 8:53 AM CST
51 Kids Hurt in Chemical Attack on China Kindergarten
   (Getty Images/Igor Vershinsky)

(Newser) – More than 50 children were injured at a kindergarten in China on Monday when an attacker sprayed the room with sodium hydroxide or lye. Three teachers and 51 children suffered injuries in the afternoon attack in Kaiyuan, Yunnan province, though none were life-threatening, reports CNN. The state-run Xinhua agency identified the suspect as a 23-year-old with the last name Kong, who reportedly sought revenge on society as a whole. Sodium hydroxide, used to make a variety of products from soaps and dyes to explosives, can burn or irritate the skin, eyes, and mucous membrane, and cause temporary hair loss, according to the CDC.

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All 54 victims were taken to hospitals. Two people suffered serious burns, four had less serious burns, and 48 had minor injuries, per the South China Morning Post, which reports the suspect had "cut wires and climbed over a wall into Dongcheng Kindergarten." Detained within an hour of the attack around 3:30pm local time, the suspect reportedly bought the substance online and is believed to have acted alone, police said. Such incidents are rare but not unheard of in China. A kindergarten teacher in Jiaozuo was arrested for poisoning 23 students in March, per the Post, while 14 children were stabbed at a kindergarten in Chongqing last October. (Read more China stories.)

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