17 Girls Killed in School Dormitory Fire

 | Mon 23 May 2016 04:28 ICT

CityNews – 17 girls aged between five and 12 years old have died after a fire broke out in a school dormitory in Wiengpapao, Chiang Rai last night.

fire schoolhouse

Last night, May 22, the female dormitory of Pitak Kriet Wittaya School in Wiengpapao District, Chiang Rai, caught on fire. The fire quickly spread through the building, blocking escape routes. According to officials on the scene, the building was made of wood so caught fire very quickly, along with students clothing and bedding that also burns easily.

Officials spent over three hours controlling the blaze before it was finally stopped.

The dormitory housed 38 students, with most of them becoming trapped in the building. Once the fire was put out, fire crews entered the building an managed to save five girls, with two of them suffering serious injuries. The bodies of 17 girls were found in the building. Two girls have also been reported missing, as their bodies have yet to be found. The remaining 14 girls managed to escape before the fire became too powerful.

The teacher on duty told police that the doors were not locked when the fire broke out. The teacher also suffered minor injuries after rescuing over 10 girls.

Police told reporters last night that this morning (May 23) they would wait for official identification from the hospital and contact respective families, as the bodies were so badly burned they were unidentifiable. They would also try and find the two missing girls.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but forensic teams are evaluating the scene today.