17 Thai Schoolgirls Die in Dormitory Fire

Seventeen Girls Trapped Inside the Dormitory

A fire that engulfed a Thai school dormitory has killed at least 17 schoolgirls at Pithakkiart Witthaya School in Wiang Pa Pao district of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.

According to local officials, two girls are missing and five were injured. Out of the five injured, two are in a serious condition.

The privately-run school houses 38 girls aged between six and 13 years old. Most of the schoolgirls came from nearby hill tribes to study in the city of Chiang Rai.

The school is owned by a local foundation and is not government run.

The Fire Broke out When Most of the Girls Were Sleeping

The fire broke out late at night at around 11pm on Sunday where most of the girls were sleeping. Some of the girls who were not sleeping at the time were able to escape and later watched in horror as the blaze engulfed the two-storey building.

The deputy governor of the province Arkom Sukapan said, there were 38 students inside the dormitory when the fire broke out.

‘But others were asleep and could not escape resulting in the large number of casualties.’ – Mr. Arkom Sukapan

Police Still Investigating the Cause of the Fire

Although the firemen were able to contain the fire, the cause of the fire is still undetermined. Rescue workers picked through the debris late Sunday and into Monday morning and they began a search mission for two missing girls who are now feared dead as well.

Most of the bodies of the victims were burned and it is hard for the local authorities to identify them individually. The local authorities sent the victims’ bodies to a local hospital for identification.

Background of Chiang Rai Town

The town is a popular destination for foreign tourists who love trekking and adventure sports. Tourists can choose to go on tours to the isolated tribes to learn their distinct cultures.

A fire engulfing the girls' dormitory.
Fire engulfing the girls’ dormitory.
Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.