NIAMAY, Niger (NWN) – More than 20 children have been killed and dozens more injured after a fire broke out at a school in Niger’s second largest city, Maradi.
The government said late Monday that three rooms made of straw were gutted in a fire at a pre-school and primary school named AFN, which claimed the lives of children aged between 3 and 8.
An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the fire and where it started, the Regional Direction of National Education confirmed.
Straw huts are often used as temporary classrooms in overcrowded schools in Niger, West Africa.
In April, strong winds caused a fire at a primary school on the outskirts of Niger’s capital Niamey, killing 20 children.
Teachers and parents have said the deaths highlight the dangers of temporary classrooms.
“Our hearts are with the affected children and families. Our most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and their communities,” Stefano Savi, UNICEF representative in Niger, said in a statement.
“No child should ever be in danger while studying in school,” he said. “UNICEF will continue to work with national authorities and partners across the country to ensure that children can go to school and learn in a safe environment.”