Scores of toddlers in eastern China were thrown out of a window from their second-floor kindergarten as the school was engulfed in fire and smoke on Wednesday.

A toddler being thrown out of the window. Photo: Sina News

Dramatic footage captured by witnesses and shared on social media showed the children being swung out of the building in Ningde, Fujian and caught by people standing under the window.

Another toddler being thrown out of a window. Photo: Sina News.

All 92 students are now safe, although it is unclear how many of them were “rescued” this way, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

People waiting to catch toddlers thrown out of the window. Photo: Weibo

One picture posted on microblogging site Weibo showed a large crowd gathering under the building waiting to catch toddlers who were thrown out of the window. Another showed several people holding up a plastic sheet to catch the falling kids.

Some toddlers are seen carried down a ladder. Photo: Weibo

Other pictures showed some toddlers were carried down ladders.

A man carries a kid away from the fire scene. Photo: Weibo

The fire broke out on the first floor of the building at around 11am on Wednesday and quickly spread to the second floor CCTV said.

Over 300 teachers and pupils were rescued, 104 of which were hospitalised, authorities said.

A big crowd gathers under the building waiting to catch toddlers thrown out of the widow. Photo: Weibo

However, netizens have questioned the extreme rescue method of throwing kids out of the window when there were no air mattresses on the ground.

Kids rescued from the fire. Photo: Weibo

CCTV said the building was used for both residential and commercial purposes. Local police are investigating the cause of the fire.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.