Monday 24 September 2018

At least four toddlers 'burned alive in arson attack' after security guard allegedly set fire to nursery

At least four children have died. Stock image
At least four children have died. Stock image

Maya Oppenheim, Ben Kentish

At least four children are reported to have been killed after a security guard allegedly set fire to a nursery in Brazil.

The guard then set himself alight at the municipal nursery, reports local newspaper O Globo.

At least one teacher is said to have been injured in the blaze, which took place in the city of Januauba in Minas Gerais state in the south-east of the country. In total 40 people have been taken to hospital, with at least 25 being treated for burns. Most of the victims are children aged four or five.

Some of the most severely injured children have been airlifted to a specialist burns unit in Belo Horizonte, the state capital.

The security guard has been named by police as Damiao Soares dos Santos, 50. According to O Globe, he had recently been sacked by the nursery. Police said he had died in hospital of his injuries.

Emergency services are said to have been called at around 9:40 am local time on Thursday. The call was said to be of "serious occurrence" and required all the available vehicles of the Military Fire Brigade in Janauba.

Footage from outside the school shows parents panicking and in disarray while clutching their children.

The Regional Hospital of Janauba is believed to be treating victims of the fire.

“The children are being transferred to the pediatric area, and the adults are being treated here,” Helton Ricardo Mendes, the care director of the unit, told the publication.

Independent News Service

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