TABORA, Tanzania, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- School officials in Tabora, Tanzania, said 20 girls experienced a mass fainting spell after finishing their first of three papers for an exam.
Midemo Paul Makungu, Tabora's educational officer, said the girls were among more than 140 students taking the national exam at Ali Hassan Mwinyi School, the BBC reported Thursday.
Makungu said some of the girls were unconscious for up to 40 minutes.
"There was chaos, crying, screaming, running after that first paper," he said.
The educational officer said special arrangements were made to allow the girls to finish their exams once they had recovered.
"They eventually finished at 11 p.m.," he said.
Makungu said mass fainting spells are not unusual for schools in the area, he said several instances have been reported in the past month.
"Normally this happens in girls' secondary schools. It is very common here," Makungu said.