A fire accident in an elementary school in the village of “Shinave” in the suburbs of the Kurdish city of Piranshahr, Iran’s Western Azerbaijan Province, injured 37 female students on Wednesday, December 5.
Local and national media report that 8 of the burned victims have suffered burns of over 40 to 50 percent of their body and are in critical condition.
Local officials reports that the fire was caused when a traditional gasoline heater was being removed from the class due to malfunction.
A local resident had confirmed to Kurdpa Agency that due to the lock-down of the entrance door of the classroom, the students were locked in the classroom while the room went ablaze.
Iranian schools, especially those in the neglected parts of the country such as Kurdistan, lack any safety standards (as shown in the picture below where the heavy metal window barrier makes it impossible to escape from the windows in case of emergencies.)
Despite the abundance of natural gas and other sources of energy across the country, classrooms and other public venues in Iran are still use traditional and dangerous fuelled heaters during the winter season causing many casualties and injuries.
The emergency response teams in Iran have a terrible reputation to responding to fire and other emergency calls, where witnesses claim that hours after the incidents the emergency crew show up at the scene with little training and equipments.
Furthermore, major cities in Iranian Kurdistan lack equipped hospitals, where in this incident some of the burned students had to be transferred to a bigger city, 100 miles away, to be treated for second degree burns.
Also based on state-run news agency reports, reporters and photographers are currently barred from entering Piranshahr’s hospital.
Local and provincial officials have used this as a perfect photo-up opportunity while doing little to prevent such tragedies across the country. (as in the pic below)