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Girl arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after teachers and pupil stabbed at Welsh school

Teenage girl arrested and three hospitalised as Ysgol Dyffryn Aman school put in lockdown

Holly Evans,Andy Gregory
Wednesday 24 April 2024 21:48
Wales school stabbing: Victims’ injuries ‘not life-threatening’, police say

A teenage girl has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after two teachers and a pupil were stabbed at a school in Wales.

The girl remains in custody, while the injured teachers and a teenage pupil at the secondary school in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, have been taken to hospital with non-life-threatening knife wounds, police said on Wednesday evening.

Ysgol Dyffryn Aman school was put on lockdown on Wednesday morning as the violent incident and subsequent investigation unfolded shortly after 11am.

Two helicopters delivered “advanced critical care support” at the school, the Welsh Ambulance Service said, and the BBC was told that one was en route to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Concerned parents had been gathering outside the school gates, and hugged their children tearfully as pupils started to be released from 3:20pm onwards.

Parents waited outside the school gates for their children to be allowed to leave, with the school said to be in ‘code red’ (Robert Melen/Shutterstock)

The family members of all those injured have been informed, police confirmed, with Carmarthenshire County Council saying at 2:40pm that the incident had been contained.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Just after 11.20am this morning we received a call advising us of an incident at Amman Valley School in Carmarthenshire. Emergency services immediately attended and the school was locked down for the safety of all on the premises.

“Three people – two teachers and a teenage pupil – have been taken to hospital with stab wounds. The family members of all those injured have been informed. A teenage girl has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and currently remains in police custody.

“I would like to reassure parents and the public that the incident has concluded, and pupils have now left the school. We are working with the school and other agencies to ensure appropriate support is available to all involved.

“This was a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the victims, their family and everyone impacted by what has happened.”

Police and medical personnel on the scene at the school (Robert Melen/Shutterstock)

In a press conference outside the school on Wednesday evening, Superintendent Ross Evans said the injuries of those wounded were not life-threatening, and that a knife had been recovered in evidence at the school.

Councillor Darren Price said the school would remain closed on Thursday and that lessons would take place online.

Emergency services remained at the scene as children were allowed to leave the school, four hours after ambulances were said to have been called at around 11:15am.

Police have also asked people to remove footage from social media circulating since the incident, to avoid contempt of court and distress to those affected.

“I would also ask that people do not speculate while there is a police investigation ongoing,” the force said, adding that local people would see more police in the area over the coming days as the investigation continues.

One mother, Lisa Barrett, earlier told BBC News that her daughter had texted her to say the school had been put on lockdown.

“It is really worrying,” she said. “You hear from your child saying someone has been stabbed you don’t know what to do for the best.

Ysgol Dyffryn Aman school was put under lockdown (Google Maps)

“You just don’t expect it, you send your children to school and think they will be safe.

Another mother waiting outside the gates, named Rebecca, had told ITV Cymru Wales that the school had been put on “code red”.

“Obviously I’ve seen the blue lights, and I know we don’t blue light unless we have to and I’ve seen the air ambulance leave,” she said.

“They’re keeping the school on lockdown – code red as they’re calling it – and the police will be speaking to the classes individually, then take them to get their lunch, then take them back to their classrooms.”

Wales’s first minister Vaughan Gething said it was a “deeply worrying” time for the school and local community.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak said he was “shocked at the news emerging from Ammanford” and said his “thoughts are with those all those affected”, while home secretary James Cleverly also thanked the emergency services for their ongoing response and said he was being kept informed about the incident.

“My thoughts are with the school and all those involved,” said Mr Cleverly, adding that it was important that police are given the space to carry out their investigations.

Amman Valley School, or Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, is a bilingual comprehensive school for those aged between 11 and 18. It is maintained by Carmarthenshire County Council and provides education to 1,450 school pupils and 270 sixth-form pupils.

Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price – a former pupil at the school – described it as a “centre point for the whole community” and said pupils and families have been “shocked and shaken”.

“It was shocking to so many of us, none of us would have thought for a moment that we would have faced this situation,” the Senedd member said.

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