A knife-wielding security guard went on a rampage at an elementary school in southeastern China on Thursday, leaving at least 39 people injured, officials said.
The attack, which occurred at 8:30 a.m., left 37 students slightly wounded and two adults with serious injuries, according to an announcement by the local authorities in Cangwu County, in the southern province of Guangxi. None of the injuries were life-threatening, the announcement said.
The security guard, a man named Li Xiaomin who was said to be about 50 years old, was arrested, according to People’s Daily, the official Communist Party mouthpiece. The adults injured were the school’s principal and another security guard.
No information was immediately released about a possible motive. A call to the Cangwu Public Security Bureau went unanswered.
Videos shared by Chinese media outlets showed children being carried out of the school, the Central Primary School of Wangfu town, and rows of ambulances outside. Eight ambulances were called to transport the injured, People’s Daily said.
School attacks are not uncommon in China. Last year, at least 75 students were injured in a spate of attacks at schools across the country, and at least 10 others died.
In November, a man entered a preschool in Yunnan Province and sprayed a corrosive chemical, injuring 51 students. He intended it as “a revenge on society,” official media reported at the time.
In September, a man killed at least eight students at an elementary school in Hubei Province in central China, according to the police. And in January, a hammer attack at a Beijing elementary school left 20 children injured.
In response to the rash of attacks over the past decade, many schools began hiring security guards. On social media on Thursday, several commenters expressed fear and dismay that this time, a security guard had been the attacker.
“The children never would have thought that the uncle who normally protects their schoolyard would suddenly hurt them,” one wrote.
The frequency of school attacks has prompted significant concern in China over the past decade, and state media outlets have published articles attributing the phenomenon to the stresses caused by a rapidly changing society.
Private gun ownership is virtually forbidden in China, making mass shootings rare. But attackers have used bombs and axes in carrying out attacks on multiple people, in addition to hammers and knives.
Bella Huang contributed research.