Fire engulfs religious seminary in Malaysia killing 24 people

25 killed in fire at a Malaysia School

The fire has left at least 25 people dead but reports say many other people were rescued and taken to nearby hospitals.

Except for two teachers, the rest of the victims were students.

Soiman said the school had submitted a request for fire safety approval but no new checks had been carried out as the request was still being processed.

The fire at the Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah broke out in the early hours, BBC reported.

"I saw their little hands out of the grilled windows; crying for help".

Police personnel from the Bukit Aman Forensics Unit conducting their investigations at the school.

Videos posted on Twitter showed the three-story building was engulfed in raging fire before the fire fighters arrived, Xinhua reported.

JBPM director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said they were now investigating from the point of negligence and technicality and the investigation was expected to take two to three weeks. "All the bodies were found lumped on one another". We are now investigating the cause of the fire."Loga Bala Mohan, the government's federal territories deputy minister, said, "We sympathise with the families".

Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department Director Khirudin Drahman said the initial theory that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit, had been ruled out after reviewing the evidence obtained and witness testimonies.

"The pupils all got locked in and they couldn't escape and got burnt", Ms Nadia Azalan, sister of a 13-year-old victim, told Reuters in tears as distraught family members gathered outside the building.

Fire officials said numerous bodies found in the school's dormitory had been burned beyond recognition, but they confirmed that the remains belonged to 22 boys, ages 13 to 17, and two teachers. The school also do not have any licence from the local religious authorities. "I think this is one of the worst tragedy in the country over the past 20 years".

Safety concerns have been raised time and again following a series of fire incidents at such private religious schools.

Muslim-majority Malaysia offers a secular education system, but growing conservatism has led to a boom in the number of Islamic religious schools, most privately-run and not overseen by education authorities.

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