20 pupils die in school fire after being trapped in Niger Republic
The lives of 20 nursery school children were cut short on Tuesday as they were trapped in straw-hut classrooms in Niamey, Niger Republic.
The head of the state fire service, Bako Boubacar, confirmed the deaths, NAN reports.
“There were 20 deaths, most of them young children,” he said.
Boubacar, however, said the cause of the fire is unknown.
An official of Niger Republic’s teachers union, Mounkaila Halidou, said the school in the popular Pays Bas neighbourhood had around 800 students, including children in the nursery section.
Halidou said the fire started near the school gate and since there was no emergency exit, many were forced to scale the fence, while others were trapped.
He added that a majority of the children who died are in preschool.
“The fire apparently started around the school gate. Without an emergency exit, many were trapped and students were forced to scale the wall to escape,” Halidou said.
”Those that died were mostly children in the preschool.”
In 2005, a similar incident occurred at All Saints International College, Kaduna, in Nigeria.
About 12 pupils between the age of 10 and 15 died in a stampede during a school fire which started in a building next to the school.
Some of the pupils reportedly jumped from the upper floor in a bid to escape, while others were crushed or suffocated in the chaos.
The post 20 pupils die in school fire after being trapped in Niger Republic appeared first on NEWS.