(CNN)A national day of mourning has been declared in Liberia after the death of 27 children in a fire at a religious boarding school outside the Liberian capital Monrovia, an official said.
Day of mourning declared in Liberia after 27 children die in school fire
The children were sleeping in a building attached to a mosque at an Islamic school in Paynesville City when it caught fire on Tuesday at around 11 pm Liberia time, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh said.
The children, some as young as 10, were not able to escape the building because there was no fire exit and there were security steel bars on the windows, Kelgbeh told CNN.
Authorities said the fire broke out at the main entrance of the building, leaving its occupants trapped inside.
Two teachers are also among the dead. While two survivors were taken to a local hospital and remain in a critical condition.