International News

Malaysia: At least 25 killed in ‘worst fire disaster in 20 years’ in Kuala Lumpur

The police chief said many of the victims – boys aged between 13 and 17 years – were trapped inside the dormitory and probably suffocated.

At least 25 people, including 23 students and two wardens, died in a fire at a religious school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday, BBC reported. “I think it is one of the country’s worst fire disasters in the past 20 years,” said Khirudin Drahman, director of the Fire and Rescue Department. “It really does not make sense for so many to die.”

The blaze at the Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah broke out around 5.40 am. Firefighters arrived at the scene and doused the flames in an hour. The cause of the fire is not known yet.

Seven injured students were also taken to hospital and 11 were rescued, Al Jazeera reported. Some also suffered smoke inhalation.

Students at tahfiz schools, where they are taught to memorise the Quran, often live at the premises. Photographs and videos being shared online show the entire upper floor of the school, where the students would have been sleeping, up in flames.

Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Amar Singh said many of the victims were trapped inside the dormitory, which had only one entrance, and probably suffocated. The boys were 13 to 17 years old. An official said they saw bodies piled on top of each other, indicating that there could have been a stampede as the students tried to escape.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.