Police begin manhunt for classroom arsonists

The remains of the two classrooms that were on fire. – Picture courtesy of Finschhafen police

POLICE suspect two Grade 9 Dregerhaffen Technical Secondary School classrooms were razed by arsonists in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Police responded to the fire but could only watch as the raging flames burned the building down between midnight and 1am.
According to the school administration, the building was to be used as a science laboratory in 1972, but due to a classroom shortage, it was used by 150 Grade 9 students.
According to initial police investigations, all students were having their farewell dinner in their respective provinces and districts before sitting for their examinations when the fire started in one of the empty classrooms.
Several students told police that there was a group drinking in the school campus on Friday evening until Saturday morning when the fire broke out. Principal Dagi Kosieng said it was the second school building razed.
“We lost a building in 2018,” Kosieng said.
“This fire will see a total of 150 Grade 9 students without a classroom for the next three months; this has disrupted classes for Grade 9 students and their examination preparation.
“The school board will meet this week to decide the school’s fate.”