A schoolgirl is lifted off the ground by a sudden tornado at Yuanquan Town Elementary School.

A schoolgirl is lifted off the ground by a sudden tornado at Yuanquan Town Elementary School.

A freak tornado violently struck a playground in China where students were gathered for a sports day Wednesday, causing several moments of terror as a schoolgirl was swept off her feet and into the air by the strong, spiraling wind current.

The chaotic incident occurred at 4:25 p.m. at the Yuanquan Town Elementary School in Guazhou County in the Gansu Province, according to the People’s Daily Online and South China Morning Post.

A witness captured a photograph of Li Jiaqui, 9, suspended in mid-air about 15 feet above the other panicking students.

The image, going viral online, can be seen as part of the video showing the tornado, also being referred to as a dust-devil or mini-tornado. Whatever label you choose to give it, it’s terrifying:

Hundreds of students screamed and laid flat on the ground as the swirling winds sent papers, backpacks, chairs, clothes and other items into the air.

Taking the brunt of the tornado was Li, who fortunately suffered only a minor injury to the back of her head upon falling to the ground. The Daily Mail reported that she was taken to a hospital, treated and discharged later that day.

The People’s Daily Online wrote that other children also were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries, adding that two fourth-graders were blown down.

Apparently, Guazhou has experienced several freak storms recently. The Daily Mail reported that a recent sandstorm covered the county with dust and sand in a matter of 10 minutes.

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