FOUR toddlers are among ten killed in a horrific arson attack this morning at a nursery in Brazil.
The tots, aged between two and four, and six adults including a teacher were burned alive at the Innocent Children’s People Municipal Education Centre, in Janaúba, Minas Gerias, police say.
The suspect, believed to be a security guard, allegedly threw gasoline over children at the nursery before setting them on fire and himself, police say.
He is also alleged to have locked a teacher in a room before setting fire to the professional.
Frangipani Regional Hospital has reported that 40 people including children and adults are being treated for a range of burns, breathing difficulties and injuries.
Fifiteen victims with life threatening injuries have been sent to the capital Belo Horizonte where hospital facilities are more able to cope than than those in the small city where the tragedy occurred.
The unnamed suspect was taken to hospital with approximately 90 per cent of burns to his body. He has since died from his injuries.
Harrowing footage from the scene appear to show distraught parents crowded outside the school in the hope of finding out what has happened to their children.
Lieutenant Colonel John Aparecido Nascimento, commander of Military Police told local news media: “The situation has caused a great deal of commotion in the city. We believe a security guard at the nursery set himself on fire and set fire to children in the kindergarten.”
In a statement police said: “At least five children have been killed and 15 are in hospital, some with life threatening injuries.”
Emergency services were on the scene within minutes of the tragedy as residents gathered at the scene of the attack.
Police rescue helicopters have also been dispatched to help support the emergency services.
The motive of the attack remains unclear.
Some residents have claimed the suspect was a night watchman who had been sacked by the nursery and came back for revenge. But this motive is yet to be confirmed by investigators.
Five surrounding cities have sent emergency services to help in the rescue.