Residents heard cries for help at religious school engulfed by fire
16 September, 2017, 01:21 | Author: Irene Delgado
At least 23 students and teachers have died in a fire at a religious school in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.
The tahfizschool where 23 died in an early morning fire had submitted architectural drawings to the Fire and Rescue Department two years ago and was only now in the midst of applying for a fire safety permit.
Rescuers found the bodies of 21 schoolboys and two teachers in piles, indicating there may have been a stampede as the students sought to flee the fire, the country's worst for two decades.
The fire broke out in the rooms before dawn, according to an official of the fire services and emergency on-site. The school is located in a three-storey building in the central Kuala Lumpur.
Twenty-one students and two teachers/wardens perished in the fire.
Mr Jahid said police were all the while exploring what caused the fire however that it likely was caused by hamper a lit mosquito repellent loop.
Some offer a curriculum similar to secular schools, but with a greater emphasis on Islamic knowledge, while others provide more specialised education.
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One survivor said there was just one window the boys managed to open and 13 of them escaped.
He said his department had come back to the school with recommendations for fire safety, including equipment.
Some religious schools were reluctant to follow government regulations for fear of interference in their administration, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The police clarified that the death toll stood at 24, as earlier reports said 25 people had been killed. Unfortunately, the fire was huge and we had to run to the ground floor instead.
In Islamic tahfizschools - where children study the Quran - students often live in the schools.
Seven people were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries, while 11 others were rescued.
When asked about the information that a fight between students was being investigated as a possible motive, Roy said police were investigating all angles and would record statements from all students and teachers before drawing any conclusions. The Star newspaper reported that since 2015, there have been 211 fire accidents involving unregistered and private religious schools in Malaysia.
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