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Pupils die in fire at school

SAUDI ARABIA: A fire at a Mecca girls' school that had no emergency exits led to panicked escape attempts in which 14 girls were killed and 50 injured on Monday, Saudi newspapers reported.

The English-language Saudi Gazette said that the fire did not cause any of the casualties. The victims either fell to their deaths from the windows of the four-storey building or were trampled to death or suffocated in the rush to escape.

The paper said the school had no emergency exits. It reported that some witnesses said the main gate of the 31st Girls Middle School in Mecca could not be opened immediately because the key was with the guard, and he was away.

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