A fire department official in Malaysia says a fire at an Islamic religious school on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur has killed at least 25 people, mostly teenagers.
The official said the fire started early Thursday at the top floor of the three-story building that is believed to be a dormitory.
He said the dead were 23 teenage boys and two adults. The official said the bodies were piled on top of each other, indicating a possible stampede as people tried to flee the fire.
Firefighters rushed to the The Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah located in the centre of the capital Kuala Lumpur 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.
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 Star newspaper reported that the fire and rescue department had raised concerns about fire safety measures at unregistered and private religious schools – known as tahfiz, and had recorded 211 fires at the institutions since 2015. (AP, AFP)