Unicef calls for enforcement of safety procedures in all Malaysian schools

Unicef calls for enforcement of safety procedures in all Malaysian schools
Some of the survivors of the tahfiz school fire. - Astro AWANI/Shahir Omar
KUALA LUMPUR: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is saddened by the tragic death of over 20 children and teachers in the fire which broke out at a religious school, Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz centre in Keramat here, early today.

In a statement issued here, its Representative in Malaysia Marianne Clark-Hattingh expressed deepest condolences to the parents and families of those who lost their lives.

She called for the establishment and enforcement of safety procedures and safe guards in all schools across Malaysia to ensure that such an unfortunate incident would not happen again.

"Sadly, these deaths could have been avoided. This incident is a stark reminder of the importance to ensure the safety and protection of children in all learning environments," she said.

A full investigation needs to be conducted as soon as possible to establish the cause of this tragedy, she added in the statement.
On the same note, the world body urged members of the media to exercise ethical reporting when presenting information on this incident.

She said media should refrain from publishing and sharing videos and photos which may infringe on the privacy and dignity of the victims and their families and their proliferation on social media.

The bodies were found on the top floor of the three-storey religious school in Datuk Keramat here, which went ablaze this morning were burnt and lying on top of each other.

According to Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh said 14 students and four teachers managed to get out of the building on time or were rescued, with six of them reported in critical condition. All of them were sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

The students at the religious centre were all boys, aged between 13 and 17.

The bodies were sent to the National Institute of Forensic Medicine for identification by family members and post mortem. -- BERNAMA

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