KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 14, 2017: Twenty-three students and two wardens died in a fire at the Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah on Jalan Keramat Ujung here early today.
Bernama reported that the Fire and Rescue Department received a distress call at 5.41 am.
Video recordings by the public showed the top most floor of the three-storey building burning during the azan (call) for the subuh prayer.
AFP quoted KLs fire and rescue director Khirudin Drahman as confirming the death toll.
“It really does not make sense for so many to die in the fire,” he said.
“I think it is one of the country’s worst fire disasters in the past 20 years.”
He said the victims could have died due to smoke inhalation or were trapped.
Five people were rescued, of whom three are in a critical condition and warded at KL Hospital.
The department had previously raised concerns about fire safety measures, especially at unregistered and private religious schools.
There are 519 tahfiz schools registered in country as of April but many more are believed to be unregistered.