(LOS ANGELES) — Two Los Angeles-area high school students each had four fingers severed while participating in a group tug of war at a school event.
The two teens, a male and female who are both 18, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman, were rushed to the local trauma center after the accident took place Monday at South El Monte High School. Miguel Garcia with the LAFD told ABC News that his station received a call regarding the incident at 12:20 p.m. Monday.
“When we arrived we went to administration office, the staff was rendering aid to both kids,” he said. “That’s where I saw they had some pretty severe injuries to their hands. The two of them lost four [fingers] each.”
El Monte Union High School District Assistant Superintendent Edward Zuniga told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the two were participating in the lunchtime Spirit Week activity celebrating homecoming when the accident occurred.
Garcia said the two teens were participating with 20-30 other students in the tug of war, and that they were on the same team. He said that once he arrived they began to stabilize the teens and dress their wounds.
KTLA reported that the rope snapped during the event, which pitted juniors at the school against seniors. The station identified the students as Edith Rodriguez and Pablo Ocegueda.
“They were doing fairly well for the injury they sustained, they were holding out, but they were somewhat in a state of shock,” Garcia said.
Staff members put the severed digits on ice, and they were transported along with the students to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
Calls placed to USC Medical Center by ABC News were not immediately returned.
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Steve Visser, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin and Holly Yan, CNN