17 dead; 1 missing after dormitory fire in Thailand

At least 17 children were killed and five injured in a fire at a girls' dormitory at a school in northern Thailand, police said Monday. 

The fire at Pitakkiatwittaya School in Chiang Rai province began at around 11 pm (1600 GMT) on Sunday.

The blaze roared through the dormitory where 38 girls were staying, aged between 5 and 12 years old.

Firefighters spent more than three hours combatting the fire before bringing it under control.

Thai PBS television reported that the doors were locked from the outside, trapping the students inside the burning building.

Local police commander Colonel Prayad Singsin said that 17 girls died at the scene and five were injured, with one student in serious condition. One girl remains unaccounted for.

DNA tests would be conducted on the remains to determine the identities of the students, as many were burned beyond recognition, he said.

Police began a preliminary investigation but had no immediate comment on the possible cause of the fire. 

Pitakkiatwittaya is a boarding school Chiang Rai affiliated with a Christian foundation that offers education to children of various hill tribe villages within the province.

Last update: Mon, 23/05/2016 - 11:19

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