SOUTH EL MONTE (CBSLA.com) — A teenage boy and girl were in stable condition Tuesday after their fingers were severed during a game of tug-of-war at South El Monte High School.
The accident happened during a lunchtime spirit week celebration at the school, located at 1001 Durfee Avenue.
“They wrapped the rope around their hands and somehow the rope when on to snap, I guess it created some extra tension and caused the injuries,” Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Brian Riley told KNX 1070.
Students “cheered at first because they thought it was funny that the rope broke, but then they realized what really happened,” freshman Allene Garcia said.
The victims were identified by classmates as Edith Rodriguez and Pablo Ocegueda.
“They were just both in shock, staring at their hands. They didn’t know what to do,” Jennifer Jiminez, also a freshman, said.
Ocegueda reportedly lost four fingers. Officials did not say how many fingers Rodriguez lost. Both students are athletes at the school.
Ocegueda and Rodriguez were transported to a County-USC Medical Center where doctors attempted to reattach their fingers Monday night.
Crisis counselors were at the campus Tuesday for students who needed help.
El Monte Union School District Superintendent told CBS2 that it’s still too soon to say if tug-of-war and other similar activities will be banned from campus.
“We’ll review everything that went on with the site staff that was present. We’ll review that with district personnel come up with some guidelines or see what we need to do or say we will not do in the future and share information with our other schools,” Nick Salerno said.
No additional details were released.