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Zahid offers to chair task force on tahfiz school fire

 | September 14, 2017

Deputy Prime Minister says task force will not only discuss the post-mortem findings of the fire, but also look into preventive measures.


KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has offered to chair a special task force to probe into the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz school fire, which resulted in the deaths of 24 people today.

Zahid said he and other ministers would coordinate with various departments and agencies in the setting up of the task force.

“The task force will not only discuss the post-mortem findings of the fire incident, but also focus on preventive action as we cannot allow this to happen in other learning centres.

“This task force should be set up immediately. We should not wait until the cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss the matter,” he said at a press conference after visiting family members of the deceased at the KL Hospital mortuary here today.

He spent some 20 minutes with the family members and conveyed his condolences on behalf of the government.

He said the government would bear the full cost of the funerals of all the deceased, and that psychological treatment would also be provided for family members of the victims.

Victims who survived the fire will receive similar aid to help them deal with the trauma.

On whether the cause of the fire had been established, Zahid said he had discussed the issue with the KL police chief, as well as the fire and rescue department director-general.

“I have been informed that investigations are currently being carried out. We will reveal the details after a complete investigation is conducted by the departments concerned.

“This is a delicate matter. Investigations into the fire should be open-ended.

“The cause may not be conclusive even within one or two days. But the cabinet definitely needs to be informed after the investigation is completed,” he said.

According to newswire AFP, the blaze broke out at the tahfiz school, located on Jalan Keramat Ujung, just before dawn.

Firefighters who rushed to the scene put out the blaze within an hour but not before it wreaked devastation.

A fire and rescue department official said the blaze broke out in one of the bedrooms, and firefighters from a nearby station were on the scene within minutes.


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