Liberia: Tragedy in Liberia - Fire Disaster Leaves At Least 28 Dead in Paynesville

The scene of the fire in which dozens of children died.

Monrovia — At least 28 persons, mostly children, are reported dead as a result of a fire disaster that gutted an Islamic school building early Wednesday morning in the Bassa Community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

The incident reportedly occurred when the children, who are from the Islamic Faith were asleep.

The cause of the incident has not been established, but some community members have attributed it to electrical fault.

The Muslim Community have planned a prayer service at the 17 Street Mosque for the peaceful repose of those who died.

Four persons reportedly escaped the building, but were severely injured in the process, the Community Chairman, James T. Howard told FPA.

The four persons were rushed to the JFK Hospital to seek medical attention.

Howard explained: "Around the morning hours of 1 am we heard people crying, shouting and we thought it was arm robbers, because robbers have been disturbing us these few days and we were afraid to come outside at that period. However, we forced the door to open and two persons, the Imam and his wife out; and two others passed through the window, but the smoke overtook the entire building and there was no way to go for the other children."

At the same time, a mass burial is expected to be carried out for the victims at the Old Road Cemetery later Wednesday.

President George Manneh Weah has expressed regret over the situation, describing it as a sad day for the Muslim Community and Liberia at large.

President Weah said his government will take the initiative to reconstruct the school and the Mosque.

The President concluded: "Not more we can say, we encourage them to have strength, because it's a different situation that is painful and hurtful and not more, we can say but extend our sympathy to the families. We will encourage our technicians to find out what happened. We want to let the family know that our government is with them. We must just continue to be mindful of our environment and whatever assistance, the government can help in the aspect."

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