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Fire survivors hit 19

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Information reaching this paper from the September 18, 2019 fire outbreak at Branch #4 of the United Dawah Umah (UDU) Islamic boarding school in Bassa Town, Paynesville says there are a total of 19 survivors, rather than two, as earlier reported.The disaster left 28 persons, including 26 students and two instructors dead.

A source, who has close link with the Islamic school said that actual number of survivors is 19, but expresses concern that authorities of the school and parents of the survivors are reneging to share such information with investigators from the Liberia National Fire Service and the government at large.

This paper had gathered earlier on Sunday that the survivors have reached five but they could not be seen at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia where the first two survivors are receiving medication.However, the source narrates that the fire started from the main entrance of the dormitory connected to the gate leading to the compound, which was locked.

The 19 survivors are said to have escaped unharmed but their parents and guardians are not allowing investigators to have access them.
However, when the Imam and caretaker of the school, Mr. Mohammed Larmine Barry was contacted Tuesday, September 24, via mobile phone he disclosed that five survivors are from the school and eleven others came from his residence in the compound, totaling the number to 16 survivors.

Imam Barry further detailed that his residence from which the 11 persons survived, is connected to the dormitory, but due to quick alarm, they out.On Wednesday, September 18th, Liberians woke up to the horrible news of a fire incident at an Islamic school in the Paynesville suburb of Bassa Town, where 28 young Muslim male students were being trained to memorize the Quran. Two of the students survived the fire, while 26 students and two teachers, 28 persons fell to the cold hand of death.

Raging fire dreadfully consumed at least 28 persons most of them students at an Islamic dormitory in Bassa Town Community in Paynesville where kids go to recite the Quran. Redlight, Paynesville was a scene of sorrow and tears on account of the tragedy as community dwellers struggled unsuccessfully to rescue at least 28 dying kids who could not stop screaming for help through hot iron bar windows until they were finally consumed painfully by fire.

Eyewitnesses who rushed to the scene explained that kids inside the blazing Quran Memory Institute facility screamed through the windows of the dormitory, seeking help at about 12 a.m. on Wednesday. Efforts to get the victims out were undermined because they would tragically come in contact with hot iron bars that are installed at the widows and then run back inside the building in fire.

At least two kids were rescued, but there are reports that the lady who rescued them reportedly died when she returned inside the building to get additional kids out. Hundreds of residents from Bassa Town Community and its environs, including women, men, children, bike riders, taxi drivers and marketers gathered in mass at the incident scene on Wednesday. They could not hold back their tears as everyone had their own narrative of the incident.

The cause of the fire is yet unknown, but the former President who is currently holding meetings on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York said the loss of the children were untimely and that as the nation mourns, she prayed that their souls rest in peace.Raging fire dreadfully consumed at least 28 persons most of them students at an Islamic dormitory in Bassa Town Community in Paynesville where kids go to recite the Holy Quran.

The entire Paynesville community was a scene of sorrow and tears on account of the tragedy as community dwellers struggled unsuccessfully to rescue the dying kids who could not stop screaming for help through hot iron bar windows until they were finally consumed painfully by the fire.

Eyewitnesses who rushed to the scene explained that kids inside the blazing Quran Memory Institute facility screamed through the windows of the dormitory, seeking help at about 12 a.m. on Wednesday.Efforts to get the victims out were undermined because they would tragically come in contact with hot iron bars that are installed at the widows and then run back inside the building in fire.At least two kids were initially rescued, but there are reports that the lady who rescued them died when she returned inside the building to get additional kids out.

Hundreds of residents from Bassa Town Community and its environs, including women, men, children, bike riders, taxi drivers and marketers gathered in mass at the incident scene on Wednesday.They could not hold back their tears as everyone had their own narrative of the incident.

President George Manneh Weah visited the scene early Wednesday morning, encouraging families of the victims “to have strength”, describing the loss of lives as a disaster.“It’s painful, it’s hurtful! So there’s not much we can say but to extend our sympathy to the bereaved families,” President Weah told reporters in an interview.

“We will do all our best to make sure that they establish what happened and then whatever assistance the government can render the family, we will be there,” he said.A lady identified as Massa Kromah who claimed to be a relative to the caretaker of the school, Fatu Jalloh narrated that the students were all males, aged seven years and above.

The caretaker of the dormitory Fatu Jalloh could not speak immediately due to the trauma caused by the incident.
However, Massa narrated that the building had eight rooms, but only the front door was accessible to the students due to constant attacks by criminals in the community.

She said in the building were over 30 students, including a teacher who was also sleeping with the kids.However, Massa detailed that the teacher and the Imam’s wife who tried saving the children died along with the victims.The Imam’s wife is said to have saved the first two kids and then returned in the building, but she never survived this time around.The cause of the fire hasn’t been established as investigation is ongoing by the National Fire Service.

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