In New Zealand yesterday, five students suffered smoke inhalation during a fire in the library of New Plymouth’s Devon Intermediate School. At the same time the school was being evacuated, police were trying to call the school to tell them to keep all students inside on lockdown because of an unrelated report of a man with a gun near the school.
The school’s principal couldn’t hear the message from police due to the fire alarm and confusion surrounding the fire, but imagine her dilemma if she had received those instructions. It turns out the gunman was a man carrying a rifle he was selling, but the fire was real.
The “gunman” was later safely found at his nearby home.
Principal Fiona Parkinson said they couldn’t hear the police instructions to lock down the school.
About 300 students were evacuated to the school’s lower sports field but shifted to the netball courts when staff spotted the armed police.
They were soon on the move again, to nearby St Joseph’s school, when smoke billowed on to the courts.
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