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Iranian activists call for Education Minister's resignation as second student dies

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Eighty Kurdish political and civil activists in Iran have called for the resignation of the Minister of Education after a fire accident in an elementary school injured scores of students and, according to reports, has so far claimed two lives.

Students who suffered severe burns have been hospitalized in Tabriz

The Kaleme website reports that the activists have released a statement saying that Hamidreza Hajibabayi should resign or be impeached by Parliament on account of the "numerous incidents" that have befallen students at schools and school camps.

The statement comes after a fire accident injured 37 students in a grade four class at a school in Sheenabad in Western Azerbaijan. Yesterday, on December 9, burn victim Siran Yeganeh succumbed to her injuries.

Another 10-year-old victim, Elham Esmailpour, passed away today at a Sinai Hospital in Tabriz, HRANA reports.

Local member of Parliament Rasoul Khezri told reporters that another three students are still in critical condition, fighting against severe injuries to their respiratory systems.

On Sunday, the Education Minister appeared in Parliament to "apologize" for the incident at the school in Sheenabad. He said: "Until eternity, I apologize for any accident that happens within the Education Ministry."

Some have interpreted the Education Minister's apology to be tongue in cheek.

The signatories of the statement have also called for the resignation and prosecution of the head of the education ministry in Western Azerbaijan, whom they claim is responsible for creating a safe environment for the students in Sheenabad.

The statement stresses that many students in the region are studying in sub-standard schools environments, which need immediate attention.

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