22 dead in fire at Senegal religious retreat

The fire ripped through straw shelters constructed for the multi-day event, according to Senegal’s local press, allowing it spread rapidly through an open-air gathering packed with people.

Senegalese Muslims gather in their hundreds, even thousands, to worship at the site every year, and pilgrims were weighed down with food and luggage, the local press reported.

A similar incident at the same site in 2010 caused the deaths of six people and several injuries, Le Quotidien newspaper reported.

Senegal’s poor record on fire safety was also thrown into the spotlight in 2013 when a fire in a Koranic school killed nine children, triggering an outcry and calls for tighter regulation.