Tragedy in Malaysia: 22 children die in religious school fire

A fire that broke out in Malaysian capital city Kuala Lumpur took the lives of 22 students and two teachers, who were all burned alive. The fire, which was sparked by an electric short circuit, spread to the third floor of the teenage boys’ dormitory blocking their exit. Firefighters remained powerless and failed to help, while the students’ screams were heard in the background: “I saw their small hands through the windows,” a witness said.
Witness in Malaysia: ‘I saw their small hands through the windows’ Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

At least 24 people, mostly children, were killed today (Thursday) in Malaysia after they were burned alive in an Islamic school within the country’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur. “The children screamed and cried for help,” local resident Nurhayati Abdul Halim told Malaysian media. “I saw their small hands through the grilled windows, but I couldn’t help them.”

The fire, which broke out at the three-story school, was most likely caused by either an electric short circuit or a mosquito zapper. The flames quickly spread to the children’s dormitory area within the building, which is located on the third floor, blocking the only exit on the floor. Firefighters remained powerless to the trapped children’s cries.

22 students burned alive in Kuala Lumpur Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

After putting out the flames, 22 students’ bodies were discovered, all of whom were between the ages of 13 to 17. The bodies of two school teachers were also found next to them. “The fire was too big to aid and rescue those trapped,” stated a local witness. “I saw a few children who were able to jump from the windows and save themselves.” 14 children and four teachers managed to escape the building during the fire with the firefighters’ help.

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