Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Malaysia: At least 25 killed in fire at religious school

Malaysia: At least 25 killed in fire at religious school

The school is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and all the victims were boys in their early teens.

Meanwhile, the Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) vowed to work closely with the Royal Malaysian Polic if foul play is detected in the fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah school.

"After we did a thorough inspection and used our K-9 (dog unit), we found that the fire started outside the dormitory on the second floor".

"The school management will have to submit a complete fire plan and we hope they will comply with the safety regulations for the safety of the students there".

Except for two teachers, the rest of the victims were students.

At a press conference, deputy inspector-general of police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said an electrical fault was believed to have caused the fire. The dormitory had only one entrance, leaving numerous victims trapped inside, he said.

According to reports, neighbors woke up to cries for help from the boys who were trapped inside the seminary. "All the bodies were found lumped on one another".

Inspector-General of Police Mohd Fuzi Harun said all parties directly or indirectly connected to the fire would be interviewed.

More than 60 percent of multicultural Malaysia's population of about 30 million are Muslim Malay, and the country is also home to substantial religious and ethnic minorities.

Expressing grief over the incident, Prime Minister Najib Razak in a tweet said he was saddened to hear of the lives lost in the fire.

The remains of the 23 victims who perished in a fire at a tahfiz school here have been successfully identified via DNA testing. "May their souls be blessed by Allah".

Noh Omar, minister for urban well-being, housing and local government, says the school's original architectural plan including an open top floor that allowed access to two exit staircases. But, till then, numerous students have lost their lives in the fire accident. "We wanted to help the others, but we couldn't because the fire was rampant", he said.

Seven injured were taken to a hospital.

In August 16 people, including eight students, had fled an early-morning fire at a family-run tahfiz in Baling, in the northern state of Kedah, the paper reported.

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