Mass Burial for Kenya Fire Victims
Mar. 29, 1998
MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) _ The remains of 22 schoolgirls, burned so badly in a dormitory fire that they cannot be identified, will be buried in a mass grave, officials said.
The bodies of three other girls, who were identified before they died in a hospital, will be buried at private funerals, Professor Juma Lugogo said Saturday.
Flames swept through a dorm where 144 girls were sleeping at Bombululu Secondary School near Mazeras, about 10 miles northwest of Mombasa, early Thursday. An investigation was underway to determine the cause.
The 22 girls, ages 15 to 18, will be buried Thursday on a grassy knoll overlooking the school, a committee of politicians, school officials, religious leaders and parents decided.
Some parents have objected.
``It is surprising that we are now being told that decisions have been made for us and without our participation,'' said Matusya Mbwana, whose daughter Halima Suleiman died. ``After all, who has lost a child? Is it the committee or us parents.''
Joshua Muindo, a farmer, said he could not bury his daughter Muthoki, 18, at the school. ``It is against our customs and I will be cursed and ostracized by my family and clan,'' he said.
President Daniel arap Moi was expected to attend the mass funeral.