The school says four instructors from Cornell College in Iowa were injured in a stabbing incident in China

Four instructors from an Iowa State college who were visiting a partner university were injured Monday in a park in northeastern China in a stabbing incident, according to a school spokesman.

Instructors from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, were in a public park with faculty from their partner institution when they were injured “in a serious accident,” the school’s president, Jonathan Brand, said in a statement to the college community.

“We have contacted all four instructors and are assisting them during this time,” Brand said.

School spokeswoman Jen Visser told CNN that the stabbing incident occurred in Jilin City and the partner school is Beihua University.

According to a spokesman, the US Department of State is aware of reports of a knife incident in China and is monitoring the situation.

Cornell College campus in Mount Vernon, Iowa – Courtesy of Cornell College

According to the school, no students participated in the program.

Iowa State Representative Ashley Hinsonrepresenting the district in which the university is located, wrote in a post on the X website that four university employees “were brutally stabbed.”

“My team has reached out to Cornell College and will do everything we can to bring Iowans home safely,” Hinson said. “Join me in praying for their health and safety.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said: “I am in contact with the Iowa federal delegation and the Department of State in response to this horrific attack. Please pray for their full recovery, safe return and their families here at home.”

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst also said her team is “closely following reports that staff at Cornell College at Mount Vernon were stabbed in China.”

“We are in contact with the university and the Department of State and stand ready to continue helping Iowans. I pray for a speedy recovery for everyone,” she added X.

Cornell College is a private four-year college with an enrollment of 1,074 students for the 2022–2023 academic year and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1.

The most important fields at the school this year were biochemistry, kinesiology, engineering, computer science and politics. The college’s academic calendar is divided into 18-day blocks in which students take one course at a time.

The campus is located approximately two hours east of Des Moines.

CNN’s Steve Almasy and Rashard Rose contributed to this report.

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