DNA analysis on tahfiz school victims completed

Nik Azlan Nik Abdul Kadir father of one of the victims comforts his wife after one of Malaysia’s worst fires in 20 years

The fire broke out Thursday morning on the top floor of the three-story school, Tahfiz Darul Ittifaqiyah, where students are taught to memorize the Quran.

Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department has arrived at the boarding school where the incident happen.

Twenty-one of those killed were boys aged between 13 and 17 and the other two victims were teachers, Singh said.

Soiman Jahid, deputy director of Fire and Rescue Department, said numerous victims were found dead by the windows on the third floor because they were trapped by the fix grills on the windows.

At a press conference, deputy inspector-general of police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said an electrical fault was believed to have caused the fire.

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POLICE will leave no stone unturned in the investigation into the fire that broke out yesterday in Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah in Kuala Lumpur.

He also said the school, though already registered at the religious authorities, did not acquire necessary fire safety permits.

Officials say that bodies were stacked on top of each other, one after the other.

"It is one of the nation's most exceedingly terrible fire catastrophes in the previous 20 years", Khirudin Drahman, executive of the fire and protect office, told AFP.

Ten people were taken to hospital, and four are thought to have serious injuries. According to witnesses, they called for help through the gridlock windows. He also added that the cause of the fire is being investigated.

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In Islamic tahfiz schools - where children study the Koran - students often live at the school.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is disappointed that the fire incident involving a tahfiz school in Kedah nearly three decades ago, has repeated itself in yesterday's tragedy.

Malaysian specialists have raised worries about security measures at unregulated private religious schools.

Safety should be the utmost priority, he noted, adding that he hopes all schools will review their safety standards in the event of a fire after this incident.

In 1989, 27 students were killed in a fire at a girls' hostel in the province of Kedah.

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