17 girls died at night after a fire broke out and swept through a school dormitory in northern Thailand. Some are missing and some are seriously injured.
The girls were asleep when the fire broke out late at night and they were unable to escape as flames engulfed the two-storey building.
Police Colonel Prayad, the Commander of Wiang Pa pao district told the AFT that the fire broke out at 11pm on Sunday(1600 GMT), seventeen girls were killed, two are still missing and five are injured.
“The fire is out and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.” Mr Prayad said and the forensic officers were due to arrive.
A Chiang Rai provincial official confirmed the death toll adding that the privately-run school is home to girls aged between 6 and 13 years old, drawn manly from the deprived local hill tribes.
“There were 38 students inside the dormitory when the fire broke out. Some were not yet asleep so they escaped.” Deputy governor of the province Arkon Sukapen told the AFP. “But others were asleep and could not escape resulting in the large number of casualties.
Thailand’s hill tribes mainly live in the remote northern area bordering Laos and Burma and are often beyond the reach of resources, suffering at school as well as in their health and development.
Thailand has poor health and safety standards and accidents are common across the land.