Liberia school fire leaves many children dead near Monrovia


At least 23 children have been killed in a fire at a boarding school in a suburb near the Liberian capital Monrovia.

The fire is believed to have broken out in the early hours of the morning, when school students were sleeping in a building attached to a mosque.

Police have told the BBC that they are still looking for bodies in the building in the Paynesville area.

President George Weah has tweeted his condolences to bereaved families.

The president’s spokesman said that Mr Weah will attend the funerals later on Wednesday.

Police spokesman Moses Carter told Reuters news agency that fire was caused by an electrical issue, but investigations are continuing.

Eyewitness Pastor Emmanuel Herbert told the BBC that he woke up to sounds of the fire and started to alarm for people to come to help.

“When I turned around to look, the entire place was red; when I looked through the window, I saw the whole place blazing with fire, ” he told the BBC.

But he said he could not get into the building because there was only one entrance, which was sealed up.

Officials told AFP news agency that the victims were between 10 and 20 years old.

Our correspondent Jonathan Paye-Layleh reports that Red Cross ambulances have already taken bodies away from the scene.

He adds large crowds gathered near the school in the wake of the disaster and people wailed and wept as the ambulances tried to get through.



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