BEIJING (AFP) - Eight students were killed and 26 others injured in a stampede down a narrow stairway at a middle school in central China, state media reported on Tuesday. The incident occurred Monday night in the city of Xiangxiang in Hunan province as students at Yucai Middle School, a private boarding school, rushed down stairs after an evening study session, Xinhua news agency reported. It said some at the front tripped, causing those in the back to run or topple over them on the staircase, which was 1.5 metres wide and left bloodstained by the tragedy. Seven boys and one girl aged 11 to 14 were killed, and another five were seriously injured. The five-storey school building had four exits, but most students had chosen the one closest to their dormitories amid a heavy rain, Chen Xinwei, a school official, was quoted as saying. Seven or eight of them stumbled and fell to the bottom of the staircase, one 14-year-old student, whose name was not given, was quoted as saying. He was soon caught up in the crush. I was scared and couldnt move until I saw a torch light and knew someone had come to our rescue, the student, who was sent to hospital with bruises on his face, told Xinhua.