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Residents heard cries for help at religious school engulfed by fire

Sep 14. 2017
AFP
AFP
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By The Star
Asia News Network

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Cries for help were heard by residents who had woken for the Subuh prayers in Kampung Datuk Keramat early Thursday.

As they rushed out of their homes to see where the cries came from at about 5.00am, a fire was already burning at the Tahfiz Darul Ittifaqiyah in Jalan Datuk Keramat.

Huge flames were seen at the topmost floor of the three-storey building where the students were sleeping in double-decker beds in a dormitory.

Fire and Rescue Department staff who arrived at the scene could not do much to save those trapped inside the school.

It is reported that the fire started right outside a room on the second floor, trapping scores of students and teachers inside the room.

City police chief Comm Datuk Amar Singh said charred remains of the victims were found piled on top of one another in the room on the top floor of the three-storey building.

"The fire is believed to have started right at the door of the room preventing any chance of escape," he told reporters at the scene.

The charred remains of at least 23 students and two teachers were found in the room after the fire which started at about 5am at Tahfiz Darul Ittifaqiyah in Jalan Datuk Keramat.

It is learnt that many of the victims suffocated as they were trapped inside the room.

"It is premature to tell the cause of the fire. The Fire and Rescue Department and police will investigate it thoroughly.

"We can rule out foul play based on our investigations so far," Comm Amar Singh said.

He said 12 students and two teachers managed to escape the fire and suffered various injuries.

"They were sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment," he said.

He said the absence of hinged grills on the second floor was also one of the causes that caused the victims to be trapped in the room.

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