A knife-wielding teacher in western Guangdong stabbed 16 primary schoolchildren and one of their teachers yesterday, causing severe injuries. The stabbing spree took place at Leicheng No 1 Primary School in Leizhou at 3pm - on the same day that Zheng Minsheng, 42, was executed for killing eight children and wounding five at the gate of their primary school in adjacent Fujian province on March 23. None of the wounds to the 17 victims yesterday was life-threatening, China News Service said. One witness said the suspect later attempted to commit suicide by climbing onto the fourth floor of a school construction project, but he was captured before he could throw himself off the building. Police took the suspect, a teacher at a school in Baisha town and aged in his 40s, to the nearby Chengnei police substation. His motive for the attack was not known, the report added. Cai Xiangtian , a fifth-grade pupil at the school who said he witnessed the bloody assault, told the South China Morning Post by phone that the suspect, wearing a long-sleeved black shirt, appeared in the classroom during an art class. 'The man was holding a long, thin melon knife, and he stabbed Mr Fu, the teacher, without saying a single word,' Xiangtian, 12, said in a frightened voice. 'Mr Fu told all of us to escape before he was stabbed in the back and collapsed in a pool of blood.' 'Some of my classmates screamed while others hid under their tables.' Xiangtian said the man, whom he did not recognise, had then turned around to attack his classmates. Li Boru , 12, suffered a stab wound to his head as a result. 'I saw Li's clothes stained with blood before the ambulance came,' Xiangtian said. 'He was sent to a nearby hospital with the help of a classmate.' Xiangtian said he had glanced at his 60-year-old teacher and saw he was seriously wounded, with blood all around him. But he himself was able to escape. 'I remember that the man's [attacker] cheek was rosy,' the boy said. 'Along with my classmates, I guess the man was drunk when he came in. 'Not until after I managed to flee the classroom did I learn that altogether three of my classmates had been stabbed by the man.' An official at a sub-district office with jurisdiction over the school said that he was in the Leizhou Hospital of Chinese Medicine, not far from the school. 'A few minutes past 3pm, I saw an old teacher carrying a schoolboy with a bleeding head wound come in,' said the official. 'The teacher was followed by four students, all of them with knife wounds to their heads and their clothes all stained with blood.' He said he was told to rush to the school to help. 'When I got there minutes later, hundreds of anxious parents, relatives and onlookers had already flocked to and crowded outside the school, as well as more than 100 police officers, firemen and officials inside the building.' In Nanping , Fujian, the execution of Zheng, a former surgeon, took place after his appeal was rejected by the Supreme People's Court, Xinhua reported yesterday. It ended a case that sparked concern about school security nationwide. The mother of a student at the school in Leicheng said yesterday that she was satisfied with the school's security because both the front gate and the back door of the campus were constantly guarded. She said security might have been lax yesterday with a competition held at the school of teaching methods between top teachers from different towns. There was speculation that the suspect may have been one of the teachers who took part in the competition. Guangdong Communist Party secretary Wang Yang ordered a thorough investigation into the incident with details of the case to be publicised in a timely manner.