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Dozens of elementary faculty youngsters killed in classroom blaze in Niger

Dozens of elementary school children killed in classroom blaze in Niger

Not less than 26 faculty youngsters aged 5 to 6 have been killed in a blaze in southern Niger after a thatched-roof classroom caught on hearth, native officers mentioned, with greater than a dozen others injured, some critically.

The lethal hearth broke out on Monday morning in a makeshift classroom constructed from wooden and straw in Niger’s southern Maradi area, Reuters, the BBC and AFP reported independently, with the mayor of Maradi metropolis confirming the casualties. 

“Proper now, we’ve 26 useless and 13 injured, 4 of them severely,” the mayor, Chaibou Aboubacar, instructed native media, including that three of the lecture rooms have been destroyed in complete.

Unconfirmed pictures purporting to point out the aftermath of the hearth have circulated on-line, during which the charred and smoldering stays of the lecture rooms may very well be seen as native residents milled across the space.

One of many world’s poorest nations, Niger’s brick schoolhouses are sometimes unable to accommodate all native youngsters, creating the necessity for improvised overflow rooms. Whereas the regional director of training Maman Hdi mentioned the reason for the incident remains to be underneath investigation, it isn’t solely unusual for such provisional lecture rooms to ignite on condition that they’re manufactured from extremely flammable supplies. An identical conflagration killed 20 youngsters earlier this 12 months in Niger’s capital metropolis of Niamey, leaving 28 straw-hut lecture rooms destroyed.

Native officers introduced a three-day mourning interval and suspended courses following the newest hearth, whereas Niger’s council of ministers declared that preschool lecture rooms should not have roofs manufactured from straw, citing the 2 lethal blazes since April. 

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