Seven Kenyan teenage schoolgirls died and 10 more were hospitalised after a fire engulfed their boarding school dormitory in Nairobi early on Saturday (September 2) morning, a government official said.
The cause of the fire was not known, and the government ordered Moi Girls School closed for two weeks while it investigated, education minister Fred Matiangi told reporters when he visited the school.
Fires have in the past claimed the lives of dozens of Kenyan boarding school students. In 2001, 58 schoolboys were killed in a dormitory fire at Kyanguli Secondary School outside Nairobi. In 2012, eight students were killed at a school in Homa Bay County in western Kenya.
Lax safety standards and poor emergency procedures have been blamed for some past fires at schools and for other tragedies such as the collapse of a residential building in Nairobi in May that killed nearly 50 people.