Bangkok: A schoolgirl boarding-house in northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai was burnt down late Sunday, killing 17 girls, injuring five others while two girls were missing, a local newspaper quoted police as reporting on Monday.

According to the Nation newspaper, the fire broke out at the boarding-house of Pithakkiart Witthaya School in Wiengpapao district at 11 p.m. Sunday.

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The girls who died in the fire were between five to 12 years old.

There were 38 schoolgirls staying at the boarding-house. They came from hilltribe villages in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai to study in the town.

After the blaze broke out officials could only evacuate a few of the girls while the rest were trapped inside.