Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: India Fire Kills at Least 80 Children

Friday, July 16, 2004

India Fire Kills at Least 80 Children

India Fire Kills at Least 80 Children

NEW DELHI - A short circuit ignited a thatched roof and raged through a school in southern India on Friday, killing at least 80 children and injuring more than 100. The children were trapped inside a locked building, a witness said, and blackened bodies were piled two and three deep on the floor.

More than 30 of the victims were burned to death, while the others were killed in a stampede that followed the fire, said M.B. Venkatesh, a witness who lived near the Lord Krishna Middle School in the town of Kumbakonam. He said the school's main door was locked at the time of the blaze.

Press Trust of India quoted police officers as saying many children died because their teachers told them to remain in place because the fire was being extinguished. New Delhi Television News reported that there were no teachers in some classrooms. ...