At least 18 young girls are dead after a fire at a boarding school in northern Thailand.
Officials told the Associated Press that the victims were between five and 12 years old.
The fire started late Sunday in a wooden, two-floor dormitory. News reports said a total of 38 students lived in the building. It is part of a private Christian school near the city of Chiang Rai, about 800 kilometers north of Bangkok.
About 400 day students and boarders attend the school. Most of the students are said to be ethnic minorities.
An official from the school said the fire started on the lower level of the dormitory. That floor was used for activities. The second floor was used as the sleeping area.
Officials say five girls were injured. Two of them were reported to have suffered serious injury. The Reuters news service said 15 girls escaped without injury.
One girl said, “We remembered some lessons from Girl Scouts to tie cloth together to make a long rope. We climbed out of the window.”
Firefighters put out the fire in three hours. Thai officials are investigating the cause of the blaze.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
This report was based on stories from VOANews.com and the Associated Press. Jim Dresbach adapted the story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story
dormitory – n. a building on a school campus that has rooms where students can live
kilometer– n. a measure of length equal to 1,000 meters
boarder – n. a person who pays to live and have meals at a school
Girl Scouts – n. members of an organization for girls who take part in group activities, learn skills and are urged to have good morals and be good citizens