Quiet community left in shock after stabbing in school

Police outside Ysgol Dyffryn Aman
Two teachers and a pupil were injured in a stabbing at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Carmarthenshire [BBC]

It is a market town which was once at the forefront of the south-west Wales' mining industry.

But, on Wednesday, the quiet community of Ammanford in Carmarthenshire was left in shock when a stabbing at a secondary school left two teachers and a pupil injured.

Police and ambulance crews raced to Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, while helicopters circled above and the number of panic-stricken parents began building up outside its gates.

With the pupils locked down inside, all the hundreds of parents assembling could do was peer through the railings and suffer the unbearable wait to hear if their sons and daughters were okay.

Others took what comfort they could from frenzied texts and WhatsApp messages sent from some of the children stuck in the building, locked in their classrooms for safety.

Bit by bit the situation became clearer, but no less worrying, to those outside.

Lisa Barrett was one of those mums and dads constantly checking their phones for news.

Her daughter is a pupil at the school and she had first been made aware of the drama when the teenager sent her a text.

"It is really worrying," she said.

"You hear from your child saying someone has been stabbed you don't know what to do for the best.

"You just don't expect it, you send your children to school and think they will be safe.

"It is comforting to know they are locked in the classrooms though."

Playing the "waiting game" was agony, she said, leaving her unable to know what to do for the best.

Parents outside Ysgol Dyffryn Aman
Parents endure an agonising wait for news outside Ysgol Dyffryn Aman [BBC]

A pair of air ambulances landed on the stretch of grass in front of the building, only adding to the gravity of the major incident unfolding before everyone.

Meanwhile, the nation's media were gradually decamping before the school's railings, one camera crew at a time, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his shock as to what was happening.

Justin Williams, whose daughter is in year seven at the school, said his wife rang him when she heard about the incident.

"[Everyone we know] is ok but we’re now worried about the people who have been injured," he said.

“It’s not something you hear of in Ammanford - for a close community, it’s very rare that you hear of something like this in the area.”

Luke Poole also has relatives at the school.

"My sister and my cousin are in there," he said.

"They texted me to say someone had been stabbed and that they were being kept in a locked room.

"I'm just waiting for them to get out."

Parents reunite with their children at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman
Parents finally reunite with their children at the school [BBC]

After an agonising several hours, having been told the situation had been "contained", the pupils were finally allowed to leave.

Parents were reunited with their children at last, while those unable to be collected were ushered onto coaches and ferried home.

“It’s been a long day,” said one mum called Melanie as she hugged her son Lex.

Another, named Bex, said she was "relieved" the whole thing was over.

Some of the pupils were also described as looking "shell shocked" by the experience.

“Others are wired because they don’t know how to respond this this kind of thing, said Becci Howell, who works as a supervisor in a nearby bakery.

“It’s been a stressful day but, as happens in small communities like this, people tend to come together."

They also need to come to terms with hearing that a teenage girl was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the incident.