At least 20 children have died after they became trapped in a fire at a school in Niger's capital, Niamey.
The fire started late on Tuesday afternoon when the children were attending lessons in straw classrooms.
He said firefighters attended the scene in Niamey's Pas Bas district quickly, but "the power of the fire was enormous".
Teachers' union official, Mounkaila Halidou, said there were about 800 students attending the school.
"Those who died were mostly in the preschool," he said.
Niger is the world's poorest nation, according to the UN's development rankings for 189 countries.