Friday, 22 September, 2017

Malaysia school fire kills 23 young students, two wardens

25 die in KL tahfiz school fire Residents heard cries for help at religious school engulfed by fire
Saul Franklin | 15 September, 2017, 00:43

The fire broke out at an Islamic religious school named Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, which had been operating without a license.

The fire department was called shortly after the fire began and quickly arrived to the area.

It is reported that the fire started right outside a room on the second floor, trapping scores of students and teachers inside the room.

"Metal grills made it impossible for them to get out of the burning building", he added.

Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Amar Singh said numerous victims were trapped inside the dormitory, which had only one entrance, and probably suffocated.

"The youngsters were sobbing for help, yet I couldn't help them as the entryway was at that point ablaze", he said.

Jamil Khir Baharom says all samples have been collected, and all that remains is the job of matching these to the bodies of the deceased.

Seven injured students were also taken to hospital and 11 were rescued, Al Jazeera reported.

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He said police were still investigating what caused the fire but that it likely was caused by short circuit or a lit mosquito repellent coil.

They are unregulated by the education ministry, being the responsibility of the religious department.

He said the school's original architectural plan included an open top floor that allowed access to two exit staircases. "I think this is one of the worst tragedy in the country over the past 20 years".

Prime Minister Namibia Razak expressed his condolences in a Tweet about the incident at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre.

In the hours after the fire, family members rushed to the scene, only for some to be told that their child had died in the blaze. "May their souls be blessed by Allah". It is one of the worst fires involving so many lives in the capital in recent years, said Loga Bala Mohan, according to AFP.

More than 200 fires had broken out at schools since 215, the department revealed.

Initial pictures and videos of the incident showed the entire upper side of the school catching fire.

Malaysian police truck waits outside an Islamic religious school following a fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Many such schools are exempt from state inspections.

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