Pakistan: Massive fire breaks out in government girls school, more than 1,400 people inside the premises evacuated

A fire broke out at a girls’ school in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Haripur district on Monday, engulfing over 1,400 students. According to reports, over 1,000 girl students were present at the Government Girls High Secondary School Sirikot when the fire broke out. According to the latest developments, all the students were safely rescued from the school. Although an official statement on the cause of the incident is yet to come, Rashid, a parent of a student at the school, revealed that his daughter was present in the classroom where the fire broke out. According to him, the fire started from a spark from the roof, indicating a possible short circuit.

A Dawn.com correspondent reported that the fire quickly engulfed the entire building, resulting in severe damage to both the structure and the contents inside, including furniture and paper records. Footage captured on mobile phones showed large clouds of smoke billowing out from the school premises, with debris falling down from burnt roofs and flames raging inside. Additionally, many local residents could be seen gathering outside the school. KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur reacted swiftly to the incident and directed both the provincial education department and the district administration to investigate the cause of the fire and provide a detailed report.

Additionally, he stressed the immediate repair of any damage to the school building to ensure uninterrupted continuity of academic activities, his office said.

According to local media reports, Haripur has witnessed several incidents of fire in recent years. In December, a tragic incident occurred when a woman lost her life and eight animals died when a cattle shed caught fire in Haripur’s Khanpur tehsil. During the summer of 2022, Haripur, along with three other KP districts, faced devastating forest fires that destroyed hundreds of acres of forestland. In October of the same year, a fire at the office of the Pak-Austria Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology in Haripur’s Mang area destroyed records and furniture.

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