At least eight students killed in Nairobi school fire

Fire burns down dormitory at Moi Girls high school in Kenyan capital, killing eight teenage girls and inuring 10 others.

    At least eight students killed in Nairobi school fire
    A parent embraces a student following the fire [Baz Ratner/Reuters]

    At least eight students have been killed and 10 others taken to hospital after a fire broke out at a girls' school in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

    The blaze, which broke out early on Saturday, burned down one dormitory of Moi Girls school.

    "We were sleeping and a girl woke us up and said that our hostel was burning. We were helped to safety by some teachers," Daniella Maina, a shaken 16-year-old schoolgirl, told Reuters news agency.

    The Kenyan police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    "A fire broke out at the school at 2:00am in the morning in one of the dormitories. It is very, very sad," said Fred Matiangi, the education minister.

    "This is a school that's got 1,183 students and, as you know, is one of our top schools in the country and a school that we are very proud of."

    Matiangi said it was too early to know what caused the fire and investigations were under way.

    "We have 10 students who have been admitted to hospital right now, two of them with serious injuries. We have taken a decision this morning to close the school for two weeks because we want to conduct thorough investigations on what happened," Matiangi added.

    A statement from his office on Saturday evening said the death toll had risen from seven to eight.

    The incident has brought back memories of the deaths of 67 students in a dormitory fire at a high school in eastern Kenya in March 2001.

    It later emerged the fire was caused by students apparently angered by the school's administration.

    Last year, at least 126 high schools experienced arson attacks in what appeared to be protests by students over the shortening of holidays and limiting of visits by parents.

    Matiangi took those measures after widespread cheating in 2015 high school final-year exams.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.