Late Tuesday, a fire that broke out in private girls’ dormitory, killed 12 people and injured several others in in the southern Turkish region of Adana.
The dormitory had 34 people of middle and high school students. The dormitory housed impoverished girls, whose families comes from nearby village, where no schools are there. 28 students were there at the time of fire.
The bodies have been recovered. One teacher is among the dead. 11 students were killed in the fire. The injured were taken to hospital in the region. There identities are yet to be disclosed but they were all aged 14 or under. No one is left in the building. None of the injured are in serious condition.
Officials said that the fire, which was likely caused by an electrical fault, raced through the building’s wooden interior.
Officials expressed concern that many of the dead were killed after they were unable to open a closed fire door to escape the top floors of the building.
Some wounded students were affected by smoke and others were injured while trying to escape the burning building by jumping out of the window.
Turkish television shows flames rising from a three-storied building and firefighters battling the blaze. Several windows on the building were scorched black and ashen debris littered the dormitory entrance. Other footage showed the scene of devastation as emergency services arrived to tackle the fire at the dormitory building, parts of which were turned into a blazing wreck and whose roofs collapsed.
The fire broke out at around 19:25 (1625 GMT) and it was brought under control some three hours later.
In an agonizing wait, families who could not see their children stood outside in tears.
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya arrived on site early Wednesday. Kaya pledged accountability for any oversight.
Adana city Mayor, Huseyin Sozlu said, “It appears that the fire escape stairs door was locked. Children could not open it. Bodies were found there.”
Adana region governor Mahmut Demirtas declined to comment on claims that fire escape stairs were locked and students were unable to use them.
Sozlu added, “From tomorrow the governor’s office will start an investigation.”
Kaya said: “This is an allegation. It will be thoroughly investigated.”
Kaynak said, “After all, whatever caused the incident, caused the fire … the required procedures will be conducted for those responsible.”
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he was deeply sorry for the fire and wished God’s mercy on those who lost their lives while hoping for a quick recovery for the wounded.