Preschoolers die after being set alight in Brazil

Five toddlers burned alive in arson attack on nursery

Five toddlers burned alive in arson attack on nursery

The death toll from a day care center fire in southeastern Brazil has risen to seven after a 4-year-old boy succumbed to his injuries while en route to a hospital. He went to the Gente Inocente childcare centre to hand in his medical certificate and then started the fire, O Globo newspaper reported. "But those who have been rescued, the children and the adults as well, we are very hopeful that all will survive", Pimentel told reporters at the scene.

Witnesses also claim Damiao embraced some of the children which caused their bodies to burn.

The municipality of Janauba announced a 7-day mourning in region.

A young child is transported to hospital.

Local police chief Bruno Fernandes Barbosa told the G1 news portal that the teacher, 43-year-old Helley Abreu Batista, grappled with the guard "in an attempt to save the children".

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Some victims have been taken to hospitals in other cities with facilities to treat burns. With only 2 hospitals in the small town of 80,000 people, numerous more seriously hurt were taken by police helicopter to Minas Gerais' capital Belo Horizonte, more than 500 kilometers away.

The motive of the attacker remains unclear.

"I am deeply saddened by this tragedy involving children in Janauba, and I want to express my solidarity with the families", Temer wrote.

Janaúba is in the north of the state of Minas Gerais and has about 70,000 inhabitants.

Brazilian President Michel Temer voiced his horror at the atrocity.

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