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Student Dies in Kenyan Dorm Fire

July 04, 2001|From Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya — A fire at a school dormitory in Kenya left one student dead and injured dozens of others, police said Tuesday. The headmaster said assailants threw a Molotov cocktail into the dorm, setting off the blaze.

The fire broke out early Monday at Lelmokwo High School in Nandi district, about 125 miles northwest of Nairobi, the capital, police spokesman Peter Kimanthi said.

He said the fire, in a dormitory housing 116 students, left 56 students hospitalized, four of them with serious injuries. Twenty-six were later discharged.

Kimanthi said police suspected arson but had no motive or suspects.

Headmaster David Rutto told the East African Standard newspaper that the fire was started by a Molotov cocktail.

"The arsonists scared away the school watchmen before gaining entry into the compound. They hurled the petrol bomb into the dormitory, causing a huge explosion accompanied by a huge fire," he said.

Kimanthi said students from another dormitory rushed to the scene after hearing screams and found the doors to the burning building locked from the outside. It was not known who locked the doors, he added.

A fire in March killed 67 students at a school dormitory in a town 30 miles southeast of Nairobi.

Students believe that blaze was set by other schoolmates angry over the annulment of final exam results and demands that they pay outstanding school fees.

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