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Mahathir sad no lessons learnt from 1989 fire that killed 27

 | September 14, 2017

The former PM recalls a deadly blaze at a private Islamic school in Kedah and says more should be done to ensure fire safety measures are in place.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he was upset over a fire that killed 22 students and a teacher at a tahfiz school in Keramat here early today, saying no lessons had been learnt from a similar blaze in Kedah decades ago.

He recalled that in the fire at a tahfiz school dormitory in 1989, 27 female students died. The fire also totally gutted the school and eight wooden hostels.

Mahathir said that in the case in Kedah, someone was cooking in the dormitory and this was believed to have started the blaze.

Speaking about today’s fire at the tahfiz school, he said, “The construction of dormitories has to adhere to the rules so that if anything happens, the students can run (to safety).

“It seems there were only two doors (at the tahfiz school). Sometimes, they cannot run due to the fire.

“Safety measures are very important.

“After this, I hope all schools will review their fire safety measures,” he told reporters after visiting the family members of the deceased and the injured at the KL Hospital today.

The predawn fire gutted the three-storey Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz school here today, burning those trapped inside beyond recognition.

It is believed the grilled windows prevented many from escaping the fire and health officials are currently conducting DNA tests to identify the victims.

Mahathir, who is chairman of PPBM and Pakatan Harapan, conveyed his condolences to family members of the dead and expressed hope that those injured would recover soon.

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