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Six arrested after 12 killed by fire in 'locked' school dormitory

Published 30/11/2016

Adana Mayor Huseyin Sozlu said the dormitory was probably locked
Adana Mayor Huseyin Sozlu said the dormitory was probably locked

Six people have been arrested by authorities in Turkey in connection with a fire that broke out in a dormitory for schoolgirls, killing 12 people.

The blaze tore through the three-storey dormitory housing middle school students in the town of Aladag, in Adana province, late on Tuesday. The fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, killed 11 students and a teacher. Twenty-two other people were injured.

Adana's chief prosecutor, Ali Yeldan, told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the dormitory's director, three teachers and two other employees had been detained for questioning as part of an investigation into possible negligence.

The move came after Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, the minister for family affairs, promised a thorough inquiry and said anyone guilty of negligence would be punished.

Adana Mayor Huseyin Sozlu told Anadolu that either the fire exit at the privately-run dormitory was locked or the panicked students were unable to open it.

He added: "Most probably it was locked."

The US Embassy posted a message of sympathy on Twitter that read: "We are deeply saddened by news of the tragic fire in Adana and send our condolences to the families of those killed."

Authorities, meanwhile, imposed a temporary media blackout which restricts coverage of the fire, citing public order concerns and possible impediments to the investigation.

AP

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