TWENTY-FIVE girls of Chama Boarding Secondary School have sustained injuries in a stampede after their 19-year-old expelled school-mate emerged and deployed a stream of pepper spray (tear gas) on them while they were having an entertainment show in a packed school hall.
The boy identified as Mwiya Kalumina allegedly stole the pepper spray from his elder brother, a police constable of Chama Police Station, who had reportedly travelled to Lusaka on duty.
Muchinga Province commissioner of police Auxensio Daka and Ministry of General Education public relations officer Hillary Chipango said in separate interviews yesterday that the incident happened on Saturday around 20:30 hours.
Mr Daka said Chama Boarding Secondary School head teacher Emma Mutawale reported to police that the pupils, who comprised boys and girls, were having entertainment in the school hall when Kalumiana allegedly entered and squeezed the pepper spray.
“Mwiya Kalumiana, the expelled pupil, appeared and entered the school and squeezed the pepper spray [streamer] on the pupils and this caused fear, panic and stampede amongst the pupils,” Mr Daka said.
He said 25 girls sustained swollen eyes, painful noses and chest pains after being trampled upon during the stampede.
He said the girls were admitted to Chama Hospital and that they are out of danger.
Mr Daka said police have arrested and detained Kalumiana.
“The boy stole the streamer from his elder brother’s house, who was at the time in Lusaka for national duties. We cannot arrest the police officer [Kalumiana’s older brother] because he is innocent. He was issued with the streamer to keep at home,” Mr Daka said.