Friday, 24 November, 2017

Fire Kills at Least 23 at Islamic Boarding School in Malaysia

Residents heard cries for help at religious school engulfed by fire Keramat Tahfiz Fire Probe: Who's That In The CCTV Footage?
Dexter Carr | 16 September, 2017, 00:37

Six students are now in critical condition at Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

The boarding school, Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, is a tahfiz school, where students learn to memorize the Quran.

"There were metal grills which prevented them from exiting the burning building", said Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Federal Territories Minister. According to the official sources, initially around 23 students and two teachers were killed in the blaze.

Mr Singh said police were still finalising the details and investigating the cause.

"I saw their little hands out of the grilled windows; crying for help". The bodies of two school teachers were also found next to them.

He said the police would also record the statements from the premises owner, as well as other surviving teachers and students soon.

Initial investigations showed the small, all-boys school was operating without a fire-safety permit, though it had applied for one, fire authorities said.

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The Star newspaper, citing data from the fire department, said there were 1,034 blazes at registered and unregistered religious schools between 2015 and August 2017, with 211 destroyed.

"The [victims] could have died due to smoke inhalation or got trapped in the fire", Khirudin Drahman, director of the Fire and Rescue Department, told the French news agency Agence France-Presse. The worst fire disaster occurred in 1989 when 27 female students at an Islamic school in Kedah state died when fire gutted the school and eight wooden hostels. His tweet read: "Innalillah". May the blessed soul of Allah SWT.

Fuzi Harun says it's too early to classify the case as arson despite reports that chemical traces were found at the scene. But, till then, numerous students have lost their lives in the fire accident.

"We found that the fire had spread in a odd and unusual way, quickly and in a big way", he told reporters at the scene here.

Seven injured were taken to a hospital.

Malaysian authorities have raised concerns about safety measures at unregulated private religious schools.

The latest tragedy was "the outcome of the absence of enforcement, and the failure to abide by rules and regulations by the operators of the religious school", said Chandra Muzaffar, a political scientist who promotes Islamic reform.

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