Four instructors from Iowa college stabbed in China in horrifying attack, officials say


(NEW YORK) — Four instructors from Cornell College in Iowa were stabbed in a “serious incident” while overseas in China, university and Chinese officials said.

The incident took place in a public park in Jilin City, China, on Sunday, according to the statement. A Chinese official said on Tuesday that the instructors had been “attacked while sightseeing” in Beishan Park.

“All the injured were immediately sent to the hospital and received proper treatment. None of them are in danger of life,” said Lin Jian, spokesperson for the foreign ministry. “The police initially determined that this case was an isolated incident and is currently under further investigation.”

A 55 year-old suspect “collided” or “bumped into” one of the instructors and then proceeded to attack that instructor and three others with a knife, the Jilin Public Security Bureau said Tuesday. A Chinese tourist was also injured, and the suspect was arrested, police said.

Cornell College has a partnership with Beihua University and the instructors were accompanied by a local faculty member when the incident occurred, the university said.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds released a statement on X Monday, saying she’s been in contact with Iowa’s federal delegation and the state department “in response to this horrifying attack.”

“Please pray for their full recovery, safe return, and their families here at home,” Reynolds wrote.

In a statement, the Department of State said it was “aware of reports of a stabbing incident in Jilin, People’s Republic of China.”

“We are monitoring the situation and have no further comments at this time,” the department’s statement read.

Lin, the Chinese official, said cultural exchanges such as the one the instructors were undertaking were “in the common interests” of the U.S. and China.

“China has always taken effective measures and will continue to take relevant measures to effectively protect the safety of all foreigners in China,” Lin said Tuesday. “The sporadic cases will not affect the normal development of Sino-US cultural exchanges.”

Cornell College is a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.