KUALA LUMPUR: Twenty-two pupils and two wardens are confirmed killed in a fire that broke out at a religious school in Jalan Keramat Hujung, Dato Keramat, here today. The authorities are still counting the number of casualties.
City police chief Commissioner Datuk Amar Singh said the city Fire and Rescue Department was alerted of the incident at about 5.40am and arrived at the scene within six minutes to put out the blaze.
“The rescuers managed to put out the fire after exactly one hour. A total of 36 students and six teachers stayed in this religious school. The police together with the rescuers managed to rescue 14 students and four wardens manage to flee the scene," he told reporters at the scene.
Amar added that initial investigation revealed there was no foul play in the incident.
“However the sad part is there is only one exit or entrance in the premise. So the students were trapped and the bodies were clumped up in one area. We are still in the midst of counting the bodies,” he said.
He said the pupils who perished were aged 13 to 17 while the teachers were in their 30's.
He said investigators believed that the victims have been overcome by smoke inhalation.
The remains of the victims will be sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for post-mortem.
Neighbours who heard their cries for help at about 5.40am were unable to go to their aid as the fiery blaze kept them at bay.