Thirteen children in Shanxi province were seriously disfigured and seven others suffered burns after a classmate hurled sulphuric acid over them. After the most serious of a string of violent incidents at Xiangpen county's Gucheng City Middle School, local administrators and educators had been punished for not preventing adolescent violence spiralling out of control, the China Youth Daily reported. According to the report, two second-year boys named Chen and Guan, from the same dormitory, were unable to resolve an ongoing row. Chen suggested they decide it once and for all by having a fight. Students stood around to watch. But after a few minutes of sparring, Chen is reported to have pulled out a glass bottle he was hiding and sprayed the contents on Guan and the spectators. Confusion turned to panic when the students began feeling a burning sensation and started screaming. As the horrified children rushed to douse themselves with water, Chen reportedly fled and has not been seen since. According to a Xinhua reporter who visited the injured students at Gucheng Township Hospital, Linfen City Iron and Steel Hospital and Linfen City Ophthalmic Hospital, seven students escaped with only moderate burns. Doctors said the other 13 were expected to live but they had suffered second and third-degree burns on their faces and other areas, leaving some with charred and pitted flesh. Others may have been blinded by the attack. Classmates described Chen as a quiet and determined boy from a poor family. Following an initial investigation by the local disciplinary and supervisory commissions, several education officials were admonished and others were sacked on November 30. The school's principal and two vice-principals were dismissed. According to the report, the inspection committee punished 11 officials and school administrators, citing their apparent failure to take preventative action in the face of evidence that violence was raging out of control among students after it emerged two stabbings went unpunished before the acid attack.