KUALA LUMPUR: The blaze erupted early on Thursday 14th September in the top-floor dormitory of a three-storey boarding school where most of the students were sleeping in bunk beds. The fire at a religious school in the Malaysian capital killed 21 students and two teachers.
The deaths have sparked outrage in the country, after reports emerged that the only exit door at the school’s dormitory was blocked by the fire and that the windows had metal bars, leaving the victims trapped and unable to escape.
Seven teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the fire, aged 11 to 18, they were brought to court and remanded for seven days, Kuala Lumpur police chief Amar Singh told reporters at a news conference on Saturday (16th September). The arrested include students from the surrounding neighbourhood. Some have tested positive for consuming marijuana.
Asked if the suspects had planned to kill the victims, Singh said: “Intention was to burn, but it could be because of their age or because of their maturity levels, perhaps they may not have known that it would cause deaths.”
The police are treating the case as one of murder and mischief by fire.