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Electrical short caused Liberia fire that killed 27 children

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Local people turn out to view the scene of an overnight fire in Paynesville, 7 miles north east of Monrovia, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. Police in Liberia say a fire at a Quranic school outside the capital, Monrovia, has killed more than 20 people and many are thought to be children. A police spokesman says the fire around midnight gutted a dormitory and school building where students slept. (AP Photo/Jonathan Paye-Layleh)

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MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia’s National Fire Service says “electrical shock” caused a fire that killed 27 children at a Quranic boarding school east of Monrovia two weeks ago.

Fire Service Director Alex Dixon said Tuesday an investigation also determined that a motorcycle full of gasoline was parked inside the school building when the fire broke out. He didn’t say if the gas tank exploded.

The fire gutted a dormitory and school building while students slept around midnight on Sept. 17.

Some students escaped, though it’s unclear how many. The imam, his wife and child also made it out safely.

The imam said after the fire that some students were as young as 10.

Words of sympathy and material assistance are still pouring in for bereaved families.

The Liberian government has promised to rebuild the school.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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