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A fire in a school in Liberia has killed at least 27 children, according to a police spokesperson.
The blaze took hold on Tuesday night at a school in an eastern suburb of the capital, Monrovia, president George Weah said on Twitter.
“The kids were learning the Quran when the fire broke out,” police spokesman Moses Carter said.
Mr Carter initially said that 30 children were killed before revising the death toll down to 27. Only the imam, a teacher and two students managed to escape, he said.
Red Cross ambulances are removing bodies from the building with plans to bury them on Wednesday afternoon, according to the BBC.
The president reportedly visited the area on Wednesday and his spokesperson told AFP that two teachers had also been killed.
“Deepest condolences go out to the bereaved families and the entire Islamic community,” Mr Weah said. “May God strengthen them and give them the courage to persevere.”
Mr Carter said the blaze was caused by an electrical issue and that further investigations were ongoing.
It is not uncommon for buildings to collapse in blazes linked to faulty electrics in Liberia’s big cities, however these events are rarely so deadly.