Horrific footage has been released of a group of students running for their lives as a huge storm crashed through the walls of their school’s gymnasium.
Three young students had to be rushed to hospital after a storm devastated Union Intermediate Elementary School in North Carolina earlier this week (Monday, 13 January).
A distressing clip shows a teacher and a handful of children fleeing for the exits as the walls are torn to pieces by the sheer force of the wind and rain.
Addressing the storm, a spokesperson for the Sampson County School, Wendy Cabral, said: “The students were doing their gym activities and all of a sudden it’s just debris starts flowing in and you see the sky.
“What a blessing it is that only three students were injured and those three students are going to be OK. We can fix this building, but students are our priority and we’re very blessed that they’re OK.”
Speaking about the devastating incident, principal Dondi Hobbs said it was fortunate that the curtain on the stage was closed, as it helped reduce the impact from the debris flung into the air by the storm.
The headteacher told ABC 11: “I am appreciative of God’s blessings. He takes care of us and directs us all the time.”
Hobbs assured parents of children at the school that the building was safe and had not been compromised by the storm.
Adding: “We’re dealing with minimal damage, as opposed to some of the things that could have happened.”
Three fifth-graders were taken to hospital for treatment following the storm. The extent of their injuries is unknown, but they have since been discharged.
According to reports, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued in Sampson County between from 2.12pm to 3pm on Monday.
Following the storm, classes were canceled at the school on Tuesday, but it’s believed that they could resume as early as Thursday.
Ms Cabral added: “There’s a lot of debris and glass in that class in that gym, at this time.”
Once the school is reopened and pupils return to school, it’s understood that special counsellors will be on hand to offer support to students and help them process what happened.