Swazi Observer - - NEWS -

KUALA LUMPUR - A fire killed 24 peo­ple, mostly teenagers, trapped be­hind barred win­dows and a blocked exit in an Is­lamic school dor­mi­tory on the out­skirts of Malaysia's cap­i­tal early yes­ter­day, of­fi­cials said.

Fire­fight­ers rushed to the scene af­ter re­ceiv­ing a dis­tress call at 05:40 and took an hour to put out the blaze, which started on the top floor of the three-story build­ing, Kuala Lumpur po­lice chief Amar Singh said. He said there were at least 24 charred bod­ies, 22 of them boys be­tween 13 and 17, and two teach­ers.

Singh said 14 other stu­dents and four teach­ers were res­cued, with six of them hos­pi­talised in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

"We be­lieve (they died of) suf­fo­ca­tion...the bod­ies were to­tally burnt," he said.

The fire broke out near the door of the boys' dor­mi­tory, trap­ping the vic­tims as it was the only en­trance and the win­dows are grilled, fire depart­ment se­nior of­fi­cial Abu Obai­dat Mo­hamad Saithal­i­mat said.

He said the cause was be­lieved to be an elec­tri­cal short-cir­cuit.

An­other fire depart­ment of­fi­cial Soiman Jahid said fire­fight­ers heard shouts for help when they ar­rived at the school. He said they found 13 bod­ies hud­dled in a pile on the right cor­ner of the dorm, an­other eight on the left cor­ner of the dorm and one in the mid­dle near the stair­case.

Soiman said ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tions showed the school had just sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion to the city coun­cil for build­ing safety ap­proval but couldn't give fur­ther de­tails.

“I saw their lit­tle hands out of the grilled win­dows; cry­ing for help.”

A fire depart­ment of­fi­cial who de­clined to be named be­cause he wasn't au­tho­rised to give a state­ment said the bod­ies were piled on top of each other, in­di­cat­ing a pos­si­ble stam­pede as peo­ple tried to flee the fire.

The of­fi­cial had ear­lier said 25 bod­ies were found, but the more re­cent tally of dead and in­jured matches the num­ber of peo­ple thought to have resided there.

Singh said po­lice were still fi­nal­is­ing the de­tails and in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause. Lo­cal me­dia showed pic­tures of black­ened bunk beds frames in the burned dor­mi­tory. A res­i­dent, Nurhay­ati Ab­dul Halim, told lo­cal me­dia that she saw the boys cry­ing and scream­ing for help when the fire broke. AP

(Daily Mail)

FIRE: Res­cue work­ers at the re­li­gious school Darul Qu­ran It­ti­faqiyah af­ter a fire broke out in Kuala Lumpur.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Swaziland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.