At least 25 burnt to death in fire at Malaysian capital school

16 September, 2017, 01:22 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Malaysia

A fireat an Islamic boarding school in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, has killed at least 23 people, majority students.

Locals on the outskirts of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur described being unable to save the boys as they begged for help from behind barred windows.

Fourteen students managed to get out, and seven are being treated in hospital.

The official said the bodies were piled on top of each other, indicating a possible stampede as people tried to flee the fire.

'I broke a window and grabbed a pipe attached to the outside of the building and I used it to escape to the ground, ' he said.

The bodies would be sent to the National Institute of Forensic Medicine for identification by family members and post mortem.

Amar ruled out foul play and said investigations into the cause of the fire are being carried out. He had gone to the first floor as the fire on the third floor was too big.

Another witness, Ms Nurhayati Abdul Halim, spoke of her helplessness during the incident. "I saw their small hands through the grilled windows, but I couldn't help them". After that, I heard three explosions from inside and suddenly the voices were gone. "There was not enough water to extinguish the fire", he said, teary-eyed. By the time firefighters arrived at the school, "the screams had stopped", she added. The principal said the school has been operating for 15 years and is registered with the state Islamic religious council.

Another source with knowledge of the ongoing probe, meanwhile told the New Straits Times that investigators found traces of petrol in front of the door to the dormitory, where the victims had been trapped.

"The wall shouldn't have been there", he said.

The Islamic "tahfiz" boarding school, where students learn to memorise the Koran, is in the Jalan Datuk Keramat area of the city.

Human rights agency Suhakam also says education ministry should regulate all schools to ensure fire safety measures are implemented. They were to move back into the main school later this month.

"There was information that there had been a fight between students of the religious school recently". Two teachers also died. The Minister Tengku Adnan said the school was running without a licence. More than 200 fires are said to have been recorded nationwide at private religious schools since 2015.

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



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