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Classroom fight in east Taiwan sees 9 students injured by pepper spray

9 students sent to hospitals in Taitung after scuffle in vocational school classroom

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A vocational school student at a Taitung area hospital is treated for injuries caused by pepper spray, Nov. 2. 

A vocational school student at a Taitung area hospital is treated for injuries caused by pepper spray, Nov. 2.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An argument between students at a vocational school in Taitung led to the discharge of pepper spray, sending nine students to nearby hospitals on Thursday (Nov. 2).

The incident occurred on the school’s campus during a break between classes, shortly after 9 a.m., reported UDN. Reports indicated that students in an electrical science course began to play noisily, which angered several other students in the classroom.

This led to arguing and a scuffle in which chairs and desks were thrown. The fighting prompted one student to use a pepper spray canister in their backpack.

A large group of students were sprayed. Ambulances were immediately called to transport five of the students to Mackay Memorial Hospital, and another four students were advised by school officials to visit nearby hospitals on their own.

Medical responders with the Taitung Fire Department told reporters that the injuries were not life-threatening, and consisted mainly of redness, swelling, and itching around the students’ faces, reported CNA.

Almost as soon as the incident occurred, parents reported it to the police. Officers are currently investigating to determine if any charges will be made, per UDN.

Based on reports of the incident, it remains unclear if the student who used the pepper spray did so in an offensive or defensive manner.