Malaysia official: Improper wall blocked exit in deadly fire

In this Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 file photo, forensic police officer investigates burnt windows at an Islamic religious school following a fire on the

Police and rescue personnel work at an Islamic religious school cordoned off after a fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

Unidentified Muslim cry outside an Islamic religious school following a fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. The official s

Unidentified Muslim hug each other outside an Islamic religious school following a fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. The

People gather outside an Islamic religious school which was cordoned off after the fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. A

Forensic police officer investigates an Islamic religious school following a fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. The offic

Bodies are carries out by rescue personnel from an Islamic religious school after firefighters put out a fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursda

The body of a victim is carried out by rescue personnel from an Islamic religious school after a fire on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Thursday, Sept.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian official says a wall that blocked students and teachers from an exit that might have saved them from a deadly fire "shouldn't have been there."

The fire early Thursday killed 24 people in an Islamic school dormitory on the outskirts of Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. Officials say the blaze blocked the only exit, leaving victims trapped behind barred windows.

Noh Omar, minister for urban well-being, housing and local government, says the school's original architectural plan including an open top floor that allowed access to two exit staircases. But he says a wall was built dividing that floor, leaving only one exit for the dorm.

Omar says "the wall shouldn't have been there."

He says the school submitted an application for a fire safety permit that hadn't been approved.