Twenty one students and two adults have suffered a tragic death after a fire broke out at a school in Kuala Lumpur
Witnesses reported that they were woken up by cries and screams for help coming from inside the burning building, where children seemed to have been trapped by metal window grills.
“I saw children kicking on the grill but they couldn’t get out. My friends and I rushed over and tried to reach them but we couldn’t get in,” eyewitness Shahirman Shahril reported to CNN
As soon as the emergency responders arrived at the scene, “almost 90% of the building was already on fire,” a Fire and Rescue department official told reporters.
“The firemen could hear cries for help from inside the building,” spokesman Soiman Jahid said. “The first team from (the) fire station managed to save five of the children from the lower level.”
Children Tried to Kick Off the Grills on the Windows
Spokesman Jahid said that firefighters found bodies in three different locations around the school, of them severely burned. Most of the victims were found piled on top of each other, in an attempt to take down the grills from the windows in order to get out, while another was discovered in front of the main door.
“Based on my observation, the building has grills that could not be opened from inside,” he said. “Because of the grills, they could not escape through the windows, except for the five students who escaped through the door and sought help from the firemen.”
On top of that, the two fire exits had been blocked by renovations that took place on the second floor.
Authorities are currently trying to identify the bodies, which is a difficult task, taking into consideration the severity of the burns.