26 Pupils, Two Instructors Died In Devastating Fire Disaster

A tragic fire incident that occurred last Tuesday night has killed twenty-six (26) school-going kids and leaving two of their instructors dead in Bassa Town, Paynesville City outside Monrovia.

Late Tuesday night at about 11:40 pm fire broke-up at a local Islamic School in the Paynesville Community, Redlight beginning from one of the school instructors’ room and eventually engulfed the entire building housing the school and a Mosque, leaving the victims to shout for help.

Bassa Town has a mission school where children stay to attend school and learn how to read the Holy Quran and most of the victims’ parents are from the Fula tribe.

Liberia has recorded one of the most devastating fire disasters that have killed over twenty-eight persons with children between the ages 9 to 18 years who died in the fire topping the death list.

According to reports, most of the children that died during the fire were all males that were staying the Bassa Community Mosque where they teach children particularly Muslims how to read the Holy Quran.

The government institution responsible to manage disasters, the Disaster Management Agency Executive Director, Henry O. Williams briefing the press said they assumed were twenty-six bodies, and all of whom are males, adding that the population of the school is between thirty to thirty-seven students who are all boys.

He expressed regret over the incident and noted that Liberia as a nation has lost great future leaders who were expected to take over the country but did not tell our reporter what mechanisms are being put into place to curtail the situation.

With tears running the cheeks of the District #5 Representative, Thomas Fallah, he described the fire disaster as unfortunate and frustrating but noted that what has happened is beyond his imagination and only God knows why it happens.

Representative Fallah consoled the bereaved families and regrets the situation, adding that investigation needs to be done by those relevant authorities to ascertain facts leading to the fire incident. He further stated that he regrets the situation, but did encourage the bereaved to be strong and that the management of electricity and other power generating materials has become a serious problem in the country.

At the same time the Chief of Operations at the National Fire Service, Sumo O. Kesselly has disclosed that the cause of the fire was due to electrical faults and more besides the Bassa Community Mosque has only one entrance with no exit point.

Mr. Kesselly said there were two survivors from fire disaster, noted that it took the grace of God for them to have survived the tragic fire.

In another development, President George M. Weah early Wednesday morning, September 18, 2019, visited the scene of the fire disaster that reportedly left 28 children charred to death, promising the Muslim community of government’s cooperation and provision of the necessary resources to thoroughly investigate the cause of the fatal incident.

“It is completely heartbreaking and unfortunate that we lost this high number of innocent citizens to fire. On behalf of my government, I extend sincere sympathies,” the President told the crowd, the community residents who had gathered to behold the tragic scene.

The President assured the families and Muslim community that the government will work with them to investigate the cause of the fire and to assist the bereaved families in any way possible. President Weah made is first stop of the day’s activities at the scene of the incident to get a firsthand insight of the unfortunate situation, personally identifying with the beavered families in particular and the Muslim Community in general.

The Liberian leader, who was accompanied by several officials of government, described the pitiful and horrific the fire incident that has befallen the nation and the Muslim community.

“I was touched by the terrible news and decided to rush here this morning to see for myself the families of the children and the community leadership to extend my sympathy,” the President said. “It is saddening even when a single citizen dies; what much more about 28 children, potential leaders, who were aspiring for a better and prosperous future.” President Weah stated: “It is saddening to mourn the loss of these of kids, just after a few days when we came together to celebrate the home-coming of Muslim pilgrims from Mecca. Please take solace in the Almighty Allah during these trying times because he is the creator of the giver and retriever of life.” “Let Allah give you the strength to continue what you were doing for the deceased children for other children so that they become good citizens,” he told the bereaved families.

The children, according to the Grand Mufti of Monrovia, Shieh Abubakar Sumarou, will be buried in a mass grave after the funeral rites. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that only two out of thirty students at the Bassa Community Mosque School in Paynesville has survived the fire disaster on Tuesday.

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