KUALA LUMPUR: Children inside the Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah in Kampung Datuk Keramat, could not escape the blaze as the windows were barred.
There was also only one door, severely limiting escape routes.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, said based on preliminary reports by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, the school's location plans had not been approved as it did not comply with safety specifications.
"I was told that (at least) 22 students and two wardens perished in this incident. While at the location, I saw the bodies of children trapped in two corners of the building.
"They were believed to have failed to escape as the fire was raging and there was only one door.
"All the window grilles were alao locked," he said when met at the location at Jalan Keramat Hujung.
Tengku Adnan said the Fire and Rescue Department's forensic team as well as police will expedite their operations to ensure a speedy burial for the victims.