23 dead in fire at religious school in Jalan Datuk Keramat (updated)


What's left of a room in the school after the fire in Jalan Datuk Keramat

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 23 people died after a fire broke out at a religious (tahfiz) school in Jalan Datuk Keramat early Thursday.

The City Fire and Rescue Department said they received information on the blaze at about 5.00am.

"Based on our information at the moment, 23 students and teachers have died in the fire.

The school cordoned off as police carry out their investigations

"Our personnel are still at the scene," he said.

In August, The Star reported that the Fire and Rescue Department was concerned about the fire safety measures at unregistered and private tahfiz (religious) schools, having recorded 211 fires involving them since 2015.

Earlier that month, 16 people including eight students fled an early morning fire at the family-run Tahfiz Al-Taqwa school in Baling, Kedah.

On May 7, another such school in Sabak Bernam, Selangor was destroyed in an early morning fire, but no one was hurt.

On Sept 29, 1989, 27 female students of SAR Taufikiah Al-Halimiah in Kampung Padang Lumat, Kedah, perished when fire gutted the school and eight wooden hostels.

There were 519 tahfiz schools registered nationwide as of April, but many more are believed to be unregistered.

This story has been updated to correct some information.

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