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29 schoolchildren hurt in earthquake drill gone wrong

March 28, 2012 7:45 P.M. (Updated: March 29, 2012 1:31 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- More than two dozen children were hospitalized on Wednesday after they were crushed during an earthquake drill gone wrong at a school in Hebron.

Dr Jihad Shawer, who runs the emergency unit at Hebron hospital, said 29 children were admitted. Some were treated for fractures.

The incident occurred during a drill led by the civil defense at Al-Arrub elementary school.

Students told Ma'an they were instructed to evacuate their classrooms in an orderly manner when the school's bell rang. But dozens of children were trampled as they ran to the playground, students said.

Some of the children "left in a hurry and fell on top of each other," a student told Ma'an.

Hebron mayor Kamel Hmaid, who visited the injured children in hospital, said an inquiry committee had been formed to investigate the accident. He said the incident underscored the need for disaster training.

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