Around 50 others were hurt in the resulting blaze, and the guard, who was reportedly suffering from mental illness, also died.
The nursery school was called “Innocent People.” At the time of the attack, around 80 little ones were in the nursery school, say reports.
Nelson de Jesus Silva lost his little girl Ana Clara Ferreira in the blaze. “As the creche is near our house we heard noise and rushed over. My little girl was so good, so smart,” he said.
Jane Kelly is the heartbroken mum of little Juan Miguel Soares.
“I was thinking of changing nursery schools because we are preparing to move. I woke him up early to bring him here and when I saw him again he was dead in the hospital,” the devastated mother is reported to have said.
The guard is reported to have had mental health issues since 2014, and had worked nights for at least eight years at the school. He did not have any direct contact with the kids there.
Janauba’s mayor Carlos Isaildon Mendes said an even greater tragedy was narrowly averted, reports Channel NewsAsia.
“This could have been worse because the babies’ room was in the hall next door. Evacuation would have been more difficult. As the children were bigger a lot of them were able to escape,” said the mayor.
We can’t even fathom the sorrow the parents of the young victims must feel right now. Our hearts and prayers go out to them in their time of darkness.
The tiny victims – may they rest in peace.
Source: Channel NewsAsia; Images: Channel NewsAsia/Screengrab