The record of the drama is particularly heavy. Twenty schoolchildren died charred in the fire in several classrooms in thatched huts in Niamey, the Niger firefighter commander announced on public television on Tuesday evening.
“21 hut classrooms caught fire. About twenty children were caught in the fire trap, ”explained Commander Sidi Mohamed. “The help left quickly, the fire was extinguished (…) but the calorific value of the fire was enormous, which allowed the generalized conflagration of these classes and the children could not leave”, he said. he explains.
According to the television citing witnesses, the fire broke out around “4 p.m.” when the victims were in class. The origin of the fire is unknown. Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou visited the scene of the tragedy on the outskirts of the capital and offered his condolences to the parents.
In Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, to remedy the shortage of classes, the authorities are building thousands of straw huts where children take lessons, sometimes on the ground. The fires of these classes in highly flammable materials are frequent but rarely cause victims.