Bilal Boarding School fire claims another life

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By Sarjo Brito

Imam Essa Jawara yesterday shared that one of the kids who were severely injured and fighting for their lives has died in a Gambian hospital, taking the death toll in the deadly fire incident to six.

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Five children died in Saturday’s fire outbreak at the Bilal Boarding School in Yundum after they got trapped in their room. Seven others were hospitalised due to severe burns.

In a video shared on social media, the CEO of the school Imam Essa Jawara said a sixth boy has died while six other children remain in critical condition.

He said: “Five people died at the scene and now we have lost another one at the hospital making it six. We have six other people in critical condition. We were able to get ambulances yesterday to transport three of them to Dakar and now we are trying to transport the remaining three.

“The cost for one ambulance alone to Dakar is thirty-five thousand Gambian dalasis. We are seeking assistance from the public to help fund their treatment and rebuild the school so that learning can go back to normal.”

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While many Gambians took to social media to share their condolences following the incident, a huge debate was sparked on how the proliferation of boarding schools should be controlled and properly vetted by The Gambia Government.

Many also called for an urgent investigation into the matter and bringing anyone found culpable to face the full force of the law. It is not clear if the fire was an arson attack or not.

The Gambia Police Force has already launched their investigations according to Police PRO Superintendent Lamin Njie.

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