At least 25 dead in Kuala Lumpur religious school fire

September 14, 2017 - 10:17 AM
Police and fire department personnel at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah in Kuala Lumpur, where at least 25 persons died in a fire. . (photo by A. Ananthalakshmi, Reuters)

KUALA LUMPUR — A fire at an Islamic boarding school killed at least 25 people, most of them students, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur after breaking out in a dormitory early on Thursday morning, officials said.

The fire at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, a “tahfiz” boarding school where students learn to memorize the Koran, was reported around 5:40 a.m. local time, according to a statement from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.

The blaze began in the sleeping quarters on the top floor of the three-story school building, the statement said.

Two wardens and 23 students died in the fire, fire department officials said in a notice put on a whiteboard at the school.

Seven people were taken to a nearby hospital for injuries, while 11 others were rescued, the notice said.

Tahfiz schools usually teach students between the ages of 5 and 18.

Such schools, which are unregulated by the education ministry and fall under the purview of the religious department, have been under scrutiny since earlier this year when an 11-year-old boy died after reported abuse in Johor, north of Singapore.