At least ten pupils have been killed in a fire that gutted a school dormitory. The school is located in Tanzania’s’ north-western Kagera region.
Seven other pupils who sustained serious injuries have been hospitalized. Police have started investigations into the cause of the fire outbreak.
The fire started in one of the dormitories housing boys aged 6 to 10 years.
It started around 4:30 local time in the Byamungu English Medium Primary School in Kyerwa district.
Marco Gaguti, the regional commissioner for Kagera, told Reuters that “This dormitory was housing 74 pupils and when it caught fire the pupils started fleeing, but due to the impact of the fire some couldn’t make it on time.”
Mbaraka Mahmoud, the village chairman, also told Reuters that villagers struggled to put out the fire, and rescuers dug through the rubble and burnt iron sheets to find the bodies.
“It is a sad day in our village. Parents, relatives and villagers are devastated,” Mr Mahmoud was quoted as saying.
There have been calls for improved safety precautions in institutions in the area due to the rampant nature of fire outbreaks
Three students were killed In July in the main city, Dar es Salaam, after a dormitory at Ilala Islamic Secondary School caught fire.
Twelve secondary school students were also killed in 2009 when a fire razed a dormitory in Iringa, a region located in the central area of Tanzania.