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Dust devil sucks Chinese schoolboy up into the air

BEIJING-- A Chinese student sustained head injuries but escaped largely unscathed after being sucked up into the air Wednesday by a whirling dust devil outside his school in Gansu Province, Chinese state television reports.

Dust devils -- mini-twisters measuring 90 to 100 feet high -- touched down three times outside the school as students enjoyed "sports day" in the school grounds.

"We immediately started to evacuate the students. But in a very short time, the second round of the dust devil arrived," Fang Fang, a teacher at the Yuanquan Primary School, told state broadcaster CCTV.

The second dust devil was faster and larger than the first, hurling clothes, schoolbags and books up into the air.

"We brought the short and thin children together to lie on the ground," said Fang.

But as the teachers evacuated students, the third whirlwind struck and lifted a young boy high up in the air.

"It was at least three meters (yards) high. I rushed to him and tried to catch him. But in just two or three seconds, the student fell to the ground," said Tong Ruiyang, an officer from the local police department.

The student suffered minor injuries to the head and was being treated in hospital.

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