Fire at Niger School Kills at Least 26 Children

At least 26 children aged between five and six have died on Nov. 8 after their straw and wood classrooms caught fire in southern Niger.

Maradi City Mayor Chaibou Aboubacar said that 13 children were injured in the incident with four in serious condition.

The fire destroyed three classrooms.

All classes at the school have been suspended.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

The government declared a three-day mourning in the region from Nov. 9.

The government also said that straw and wood classrooms are now banned across the country.

Classrooms in Niger are often built using wood and straw due to shortages of school buildings.

While fires in the highly flammable classrooms are common, casualties rarely occur.

The latest fire came seven months after a similar incident in the capital Niamey where 20 children died and 28 straw classrooms were destroyed.

“It is better to hold classes under trees than in straw huts, which have become flammable graves for pupils,” Niger Teachers’ Union Secretary General Issoufou Arzika told AFP News.

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