A student was injured when he fell to the ground after being whirled high up in the air by an unexpected dust devil on Wednesday during a sports event in Guazhou County of northwest China’s Gansu Province.
The dust devil appeared three times.
The first whirlwind, measuring 30 to 40 meters high and two to three meters in diameter, was formed among the students.
“We immediately started to evacuate the students. But in a very short time, the second round of the dust devil arrived,” said Fang Fang, teacher of the Yuanquan Primary School.
The second whirl was faster and larger. Clothes, schoolbags and books were blown to the air.
“We brought the short and thin children together to lie on the ground,” recalled Fang.
The third whirl came when the teachers were evacuating the students, and a boy was lifted high up in the air.
“A huge whirlwind was suddenly formed at the center of the square, bringing a student into the air. It was at least three meters high. I rushed to him and tried to catch him. But just in two or three seconds, the student fell to the ground,” said Tong Ruiyang, policewoman of the Yuanquan Police Station, Guazhou Public Security Bureau.
The student suffered minor injuries in the head and is being treated in hospital.