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19 students die in blaze.

KAMPALA: Nineteen children and two adults were burned to death when an overnight fire engulfed their dormitory near the Ugandan capital.

Police were alerted that a girls' dormitory caught fire in Budo Junior School, where children aged nine to 12 were sleeping.

It was not clear how many children were sleeping at the dorm at the time of the fire, but survivors said the death toll could be much higher. Some reported seeing 25 bodies.

Some bodies were burnt beyond recognition in the dormitory, which was scattered with burnt-out remains of triple-deck beds and children's personal effects.

Traumatised teachers escorted students from the school while emotional parents scoured through the remains for their missing children.

A school official said the dormitory had been locked from the outside when the fire started when most of the children had retired to bed. The school also had a power blackout at the time of the accident.

The fire may have been set deliberately, police said.

By the time the fire brigade arrived, most of the dormitory had burned down.

There were 58 girls in the dormitory, but some managed to wriggle through narrow windows, said a teacher.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 11, 2008
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