A schoolgirl is facing the possibility of finger amputations after being ordered to sweep snow in harsh weather for nearly three hours in north-eastern China, according to a report.
The 13-year-old sustained severe frostbite as a result. Her digits swelled badly and some of them turned black.
The student, named Lu Yanyan, told local media that her teacher ordered her and her classmates to clear the snow off the campus last Tuesday morning when temperatures were as low as minus one degree Celsius.
Lu is a seventh-grade student at the Taipingzhuang Town Middle School in Anqing, a city in Heilongjiang Province near the Chinese border with Russia, according to Heilongjiang TV.
She told the station that she did not wear gloves that day and therefore carried out the task using a shovel and broom with her bare hands.
She added that she felt her hands going numb in the process, but when she asked her teacher if she could go inside, the teacher forced her to keep working outdoors until all of the snow was swept off the ground.
After Lu and her classmates completed the task, Lu could not feel her fingers, the girl said.
Lu’s mother told the reporter that doctors at several local hospitals refused to see the girl, telling her they did not want to shoulder the responsibility should the treatment fail.
The parent had to hail a taxi to take her daughter to Daqing Oil Field General Hospital in Daqing.
Doctors at the hospital said they had put the girl under observation.
They said the swelling part should recover on its own relatively quickly, but the digits that had turned black would need a long time to return to their normal function, and should they fail to recover properly, the girl would need to undergo amputation surgery.
The school admitted that the girl was injured while sweeping snow on campus.
The headmaster said he was trying to contact the school’s insurance company to deal with the aftermaths. He added that the school was happy to bear relevant responsibility.