Seventeen girls died and five injured after a fire broke out before midnight and quickly engulfed a two-storey half wooden dormitory of an welfare elementary school in Wiang Papao district of Chiang Rai province last night.
About 38 girls, aged from 5-12 years were staying at the girl dormitory of the Pitak Kiatwithaya school in Tambon Wieng of Wiang Papao district at about 11.00 pm.
Fire fighters spent three hours to put the fire.
Primary inspection revealed that so many lives were perished because the dormitory was locked from outside, thus trapping the victims inside.
Charred bodies of the girls were found at the scene. They were all burned beyond recognition.
Fire fighters said they could rescue five girls from the raging half cement half wooden building, two in serious condition.
Another girl remains missing.
The cause of fire is still unknown.
Forensic police along with Chiang Rai governor and Wiang Papao district chief officer were at the scene this morning.
DNA samples of all the bodies would be collected for identification.
The school is closed for five days from 23 – 27 May due to fire.