Kuala Lumpur: Twenty-five people, most of them students, were killed today when a blaze tore through a Malaysian religious school, in what officials said was one of the country’s worst fire disasters for years.
The blaze broke out before dawn in the two-storey building, Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, located in the centre of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Firefighters rushed to the scene and the blaze was out within an hour but not before it wreaked terrible devastation — pictures in local media showed ash-covered, fire-blackened beds.
“It really does not make sense for so many to die in the fire,” Khirudin Drahman, director of Kuala Lumpur’s fire and rescue department told AFP.
“I think it is one of the country’s worst fire disaster in the past 20 years.”
He said that the number confirmed dead was 23 students and two adult wardens, adding that they could have died due to smoke inhalation or got trapped in the fire.
“We are now investigating the cause of the fire,” he said.
Loga Bala Mohan, the government’s federal territories deputy minister, said: “We sympathise with the families. It is one of the worst fires involving so many lives in the capital in recent years.
“We urgently want the authorities to quickly probe the cause of the deadly fire so that we will be able to prevent future disasters.” AFP