Liberia declares day of mourning after school fire kills 27 children

Rescuers at the scene of the fire in Paynesville City. /Getty

Liberia has declared a national day of mourning following the death of 27 children in a fire incident at a school outside the capital, Monrovia.

The children were sleeping in a building adjacent to a mosque in an Islamic school in Paynesville City when it caught fire on Tuesday at around 11 PM Liberia time, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh said.

Reports indicate that they were unable to escape the building because there was no fire exit and the windows had security steel bars.

Authorities in the country said the fire broke out at the entrance of the building, leaving the occupants trapped inside.

Two teachers are also among the dead, while two survivors who were admitted in hospital remain in critical condition.

The fire incident caught the attention of President George Weah, who called for an investigation into the cause of the fire.

“I was touched by the terrible news and decided to rush here to see for myself the families of the children and the community leadership to extend my sympathy,” President Weah said.

“It is saddening even when a single citizen dies; what much more about 28 children, potential leaders, who were aspiring for a better and prosperous future,” he added.

(Additional information obtained from CNN)

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