KUALA LUMPUR: At least 25 people — most of them students — were killed when a fire tore through a religious school in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur Thursday morning, officials said.
The blaze broke out in Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah — a religious school located in a mainly Malay settlement of Datuk Keramat — just before dawn and reported at around 5.40 AM (2140 GMT Wednesday), according to a statement from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.
“The number of confirmed dead are 23 students and two wardens,” Khirudin Drahman — the director of Kuala Lumpur’s fire and rescue department — told AFP. “They could have died due to smoke inhalation or got trapped in the fire,” he added.
“I think it is one of the country’s worst fire disaster in the past 20 years. We are now investigating the cause of the fire.”
A fire department official at the scene said that the blaze broke out in bedrooms before dawn, and firefighters from a nearby station were on the scene within minutes.
The bodies, on the other hand, have been moved to a nearby hospital, officials said.