4 children killed after security guard sets fire to day care center

Four children and their teacher were killed Thursday at their preschool in Brazil when a security guard set them alight. He went to the Gente Inocente childcare centre to hand in his medical certificate and then started the fire, O Globo newspaper reported.

Although a police investigation has begun it is not yet known what led the security guard named locally as Damiao Soares dos Santos, aged 50, to carryout the attack which left 15 others in serious condition in hospital. Most of injuries were children between 4 and 5 years old.

He also set himself on fire, police said.

About 25 people, mostly children, were injured in the attack and are being treated at local hospitals for burns.


Dozens of people were also hurt in the blaze while the guard, who was reported to be mentally ill, also died after succumbing to his own burn injuries.

"I am very sorry for tragedy that led to death of 4 children in Janabua", said Brazilian president Michel Temer, social media.

Police visited the home of the suspect and his family members to try to determine a motive. The guard, who had helped with security at the center since 2008, died hours later in a local hospital.

Temer said he understood "this must be an extremely painful loss" for the parents, as he, too, is the father of a school-age child. The mayor of Janauba has declared seven days of mourning.


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