An early morning inferno Sunday claimed the lives of five students of the Imam Bilal Islamic Centre in Yundum, school and fire rescue authorities confirmed.

The cause of fire is still being investigated but school authorities suspect its caused by someone with knowledge of the school.

The spokesperson of Gambia Fire and Rescue services told Alkamba Times they were called to respond to a fire incident in the Yundum area at 3am Sunday morning.

Mr.  Pateh Gibba said the fire was put under control shortly after the fire brigades intervention.

He confirmed that seven students are currently receiving medical treatment at the hospital and the fire and rescue service could not save victims due to the institutions capacity constrains.

“We could not evacuate some of the victims due to lack of available ambulances. I am appealing to government to help us with tools to ensure we deliver our work more effectively,’ Fire service Public Relations told Alkamba Times in an Interview.

He said  investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of the fire.
Meanwhile, the founder and CEO of the school, Imam Essa Jawara who is seriously devastated by the news sent condolences to the family’s of victims and prayed for them to rest in peace.

According to sources, this is not first fire outbreak reported at the facility and those killed are aged 16 below.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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