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22 children, teacher suffer burns in Lahore school fire

22 February, 2013

LAHORE: A schoolteacher and 22 children of grade 1 suffered burns when a fire erupted in their school building at Shahdara Town on Thursday.The fire started in the classroom of the private school at around 8:45am and soon it engulfed the entire classroom wherein dozens of students were present.

The class teacher, Maryam Murid, a resident of Majeed Park, Shahdara Town, displayed a great deal of courage as she put her life at risk to rescue the children from furious flames. The young teacher also suffered burns on her face and hands.

Shahdara Town SHO Atif Zulfiqar said that the fire broke out in a classroom on the first floor of the school building due to gas leakage and flames engulfed the whole covered area within no time. The children andtheir teacher failed to come out of the room as the classroom door was completely jammed. The teacher raised alarm from the classroom window, upon which, the staffers rushed to the classroom to save the trapped children and their teacher.

According to doctors, all the children were safe as they suffered 12 to 25 percent burns on0 their faces and hands and their treatment was manageable.The Shahdara Town SHO said that the children and the teacher had felt the smell of the gas in the class before the explosion. The gas leakage suddenly turned into an explosion, as a result of which, at least 22 children and their teacher suffered burns. Children's school bags, books, the pictures hanging on the walls and other goods were reduced to ashes.

Fire was extinguished in time and children rescued, but all sustained burns, he added.Witnesses also reported giant flames and plumes of smoke billowing from the window of a first-floor classroom.

The news of the children trapped inside the school building spread in the adjoining areas like a jungle fire and caused panic among parents who rushed to the spot.

Most of the children studying in the school belong to the nearby areas. Upon being informed, Shahdara Town police and the rescuers rushed to the scene and pulled out the trapped children from the class. Firefighters put out the fire after hectic efforts.

Most of the children suffered burns on their faces and hands.The injured children were identified as Maryam, daughter of Munir, Horia, 7, d/o Tanvrer, Sofia, 6, d/o Shahid, Khadija, 6, d/o Nasir, Rabab, 6, d/o Imran, Eman, 6, d/o Liaquat, Laraib, 8, d/o Tanveer, Momina, 7, d/o Tahir, Zebi, d/o Asif, Minahil, d/o Rizwan, Feeza, d/o Liaquat, Reen, d/o Shahid, Hunan Aslam, son of Adnan Aslam, Umar, 8, s/o Shahid, Ali Sher, 6, s/o Nafees, Fateen, 8, s/o Shabir, Usman, 6, s/o Mubashar, Furqan, s/o Akbar, Mujtaba, s/o Tauqeer, Haram, s/o Faisal, Hareem, s/o Saim and Asher, s/o Kamran.

Condition of two children Ali and Khadeja was said to be critical.Police have registered a case against three people of the school management on the complaint of the city district fire officer.

The case was registered against Chaudhry Shaukat, director, Umar Hussain, admin officer and Muhammad Ashraf, supervisor, under Sections 324/284/285 PPC.

Meanwhile, the Punjab chief minister has taken notice of the incident and ordered inquiry into it.Education EDO Pervaiz Ahkhar has sealed the school. He said the children suffered one to twelve per cent burns.

End.

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