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Thai firefighters rescue an injured student after a fire broke out at a school dormitory in Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, on May 23, 2016

A fire in a school dormitory in northern Thailand on Sunday has killed at least 17 girls.

Thirty-eight pupils, between the ages of 6 and 13, were staying at the Pithakkiart Witthaya school in Chiang Rai when the building caught fire during the night, Agence France-Presse reports. The blaze injured five girls, two severely.

Many of the students were reportedly asleep when the fire broke out in the two-story building and were unable to escape.

The charity-run school is home to girls from the poor hill tribes that are dotted around northern Thailand.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, said Police Colonel Prayad Singsin.



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