Written by Guest Writer Asma Nawaz
Civilian aircraft fly above burning residential buildings at a site where the School of Primary and Junior Sciences in Dakar, Niger burned on July 20, 2018. Credit: DW Video
Deadly fires have killed at least 25 children in West Africa after a fire broke out at a school in the capital city of Niger on Saturday morning.
Fire and smoke engulfed a school on Saturday morning in the central French-speaking African nation of Niger, killing at least 25 children and injuring 20 others, the government said.
Officials said that 25 school children and 20 people in the vicinity were rushed to a hospital in the capital Niamey following the fire at the School of Primary and Junior Sciences. Of the 25 children who were killed, 18 of them were girls.
A school teacher and a mother whose son attends the school were also among the dead, authorities added.
On its official Twitter account, the government called the blaze a “tragic accident” and said emergency measures had been put in place for the students.
Authorities imposed a traffic ban in the city while fire engines tried to extinguish the blaze, according to the Niger News Agency.
The death toll is expected to rise, according to a government spokesman, Salou Ibrahim.
Senegal’s TFI television broadcast video of firefighters arriving on the scene and putting out the fire.
The early morning fire also affected the neighboring building that housed the school’s library and a pharmacy, TFI reported. No injuries were reported in the building that housed the school library.