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Hero teacher disarmed teenage girl after stabbing as Wales school stays shut

A hero rugby teacher disarmed a teenage girl who allegedly stabbed two other teachers and a pupil at a school in Wales.

Darrel Campbell, the head of Year 11 at Amman Valley School in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, grabbed the alleged attacker’s wrists and pushed her into a corner.

Mr Campbell’s brother said the teacher, who has been at the school for 40 years, was first on the scene and “shaken” after facing a “distressing, chaotic situation”.

A teenage girl has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the stabbing which reportedly injured the school’s deputy headteacher Fiona Elias, 48, and another teacher, named as Liz Hopkin.

One of the staff members was allegedly stabbed in the neck and airlifted to hospital 50 miles away to the major trauma unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

The teachers were stabbed while trying to help when a pupil was attacked, Jonathan Edwards, Independent MP for Carmathen East and Dinefwr, told Channel 5 News.

Separately, Dyfed-Powys police said on Thursday morning that a teenage boy had been arrested in the Ammanford area overnight, following threats involving a firearm, with police recovering a BB gun.

Hundreds of pupils were locked down in their classrooms at the comprehensive, also known as Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, as police rushed to the school shortly after 11.20am on Wednesday.

Incident at Ysgol Dyffryn Amman, school in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Wales Amman Valley School @NewyddionS4C Image from
Ysgol Dyffryn Amman (Amman Valley school) in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Wales after Wednesday’s stabbings (Photo: @NewyddionS4C)

Ms Elias’s father, John Owen, said he spoke to his daughter after the attack and she told him she had “superficial injuries”.

She was discharged from hospital yesterday afternoon, he told The Times.

He said: “Obviously I was extremely worried when I found out there had been an attack at the school. She phoned me at about 3pm to say she had superficial wounds to her hand.”

A source close to the case told MailOnline: “The teacher targeted in the attack is lucky to be alive.

“She was stabbed in the neck, it was incredibly serious, but we have been told she will recover.

“A second teacher was also stabbed and a pupil who tried to intervene was stabbed.

“Another teacher then intervened and saved them. They acted incredibly bravely, the girl was restrained until police arrived.”

Superintendent Ross Evans, of Dyfed-Powys Police, speaking at the scene on Wednesday, said the three victims had not sustained life-threatening injuries and that a knife has been recovered from the scene.

Parents wait at the gates of Amman Valley school, in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, after an arrest has been made and three people have been injured at the school. Two air ambulances reportedly attended the school on Wednesday, along with a number of police vehicles. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Ammanford. Photo credit should read: George Thompson/PA Wire
Students’ families wait at the gates of Amman Valley school, in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, after the attack (Photo: George Thompson/PA Wire)

Eyewitnesses saw a wounded teacher bleeding from the throat and being carried by paramedics to an air ambulance.

Footage showed Mr Campbell overpowering the alleged attacker and putting her in an armlock.

A source close to Mr Campbell told MailOnline: “Darrel Campbell intervened and was able to disarm the girl, bringing the situation to an end before police arrived. He acted very bravely in the circumstances.”

Mr Campbell’s brother, Cefin Campbell, who is Plaid Cymru’s Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales, said he was “shaken” by the stabbing after intervening

Cefin told BBC Radio Wales: “There is a sense of disbelief but there is also a sense that this community will provide support. We are close-knit and resilient.”

Talking about his brother’s actions in tackling the attacker, he said: “He has been a teacher there for 40 years. He was the first at the scene.

“He obviously had to deal with a very distressing, chaotic situation He probably did what most people would do and tried to calm things and restrain people from making the situation worse.

“He has been shaken by the whole experience as have all the staff, pupils and parents. I think it is the sense of shock, because he has been there for 40 years as a teacher he has never, ever seen anything like this.

“And I think that hits home to people that it should happen in a place like this.

“Questions will have to be asked about security but our thoughts are with those who have been badly affected. We have all been affected in different ways but we will all pull together.”

The school was placed into lockdown for several hours, pupils were able to leave at about 3.20pm. Students reportedly hid in toilets and classroom cupboards for hours when a “code red” alarm rang out.

It will not open on Thursday, to allow police to continue their investigation.

Pupils can work via Google Classroom on Thursday, a message on the school’s website read.

Dafydd Llywelyn, police and crime commissioner for Dyfed-Powys, said he was deeply shocked.

Mr Llywelyn said: “My thoughts go out to all those affected, including the pupils, teachers and staff who were involved or witnessed this terrifying ordeal. Our thoughts are also with the families and friends of those injured.

“I want to commend those at the scene that ensured that the situation was brought under control and the emergency services who attended to safeguard the scene and reassure the public.”

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