Children Flee in CS
Gas Attack on School
Schoolchildren fled in terror today as an ex-pupil sprayed them with CS gas in the school corridor.
Sixteen children between 13 and 15-years-old were taken to hospital and a further 54 youngsters and one teacher were treated at Childwall Comprehensive School in Liverpool, where two special medical aid teams were sent in to aid victims.
The school's thousand pupils were immediately evacuated, but the perpetrator escaped in the confusion.
All the children have now been released from Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said sypmtoms of victims included breathing difficulties, tightness of the chest and streaming eyes.
A motive for the attack has not yet been established and detectives were searching for an ex-pupil who left two years ago.
Lyndon McLean, whose daughter Claire, 14, was affected said: "I did not know what to feel when I heard the news. All I was told was there had been an incident at the school, but we didn't know what it was.
"It is so worrying that somebody is able to get into the school and do something like this. How can people get hold of a cannister of CS gas."
Daughter Claire added: "I was so frightened and some people were really panicking. It was itching and I had a headache. They gave me oxygen and took my blood pressure. The doctors were really nice."
Six ambulances were sent to the secondary school at the peak of the incident, along with teams of senior doctors and nurses from Alder Hey Hospital and the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
Four ambulances remained on standby while victims were treated at the scene. All have now left the school.
An ambulance spokesman said: "A medical aid team was sent to the school. We took 16 to hospital and 55 were treated at the school, one of whom was a teacher. None of the children have been detained in hospital.
"The symptoms are similar to those that would be expected with CS gas. Although the incident was not life threatening it caused severe discomfort to many pupils who had a very frightening experience."
Headteacher Dewi Phillips said: "I cannot believe anyone would behave in this way, but at least it has been dealt with quickly and safely.
"We believe he got in with a thousand pupils entering the building this morning. He got into a corridor released the spray in seconds. We immediately evacuated and called the emergency services."
He added the school was already extending an identity card scheme for teachers to sixth formers within the next term.
A police spokesman added: "A named ex-pupil has entered the school this morning and sprayed a number of pupils with a noxious substance that the school believe to be CS gas.
"The suspect has not been apprehended and had cleared the scene before officers arrived."