Thailand fire kills 17 schoolgirls

At least 17 young girls have been killed by a fire which swept through their school dormitory in northern Thailand.

Shoshana Miskin ,

Firefighting (illustrative)
Firefighting (illustrative)

At least 17 girls aged between three and twelve died after a fire swept through a school dormitory in Thailand's northern Chiang Rai province, officials said Monday.

Several others were reported either missing or injured as a result of the nighttime fire.

"Some were not yet asleep so they escaped,” said Police Colonel Prayad Singsin according to reports. "But others were asleep and could not escape resulting in the large number of casualties."

The privately-run school mostly takes students from hill tribes in the region.

Police have begun a preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire.