Seven girls died early Saturday when a fire gutted their dormitory at a high school in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, the country’s education minister said, APA reports quoting the New York Times.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known, the minister, Fred Matiangi, said. Moi Girls High School will be closed for two weeks for an investigation.
“At 2 a.m., our matron came, telling us to get out of the hostel because there was fire in one of the hostels,” Warda Sadique, a student, said. “So most of the people were panicking. Some were jumping through the windows.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta and the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, expressed their concern over the deaths. Both are returning to campaigning after a Supreme Court ruling on Friday nullified the results of last month’s election.
The fire brought back memories of the deaths of 67 students in a dormitory fire at a high school in eastern Kenya in March 2001. The fire was caused by students apparently angered by the school’s administration.
Last year, at least 126 high schools were struck by arson in what appeared to be protests by students over the shortening of holidays and the limiting of visits by parents. Mr. Matiangi took those measures after widespread cheating in high school final-year exams in 2015.