By Pairat Temphairojana and Panarat Thepgumpanat
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Fire swept through a dormitory at a school for girls from poor families in Thailand, killing at least 17 of them and injuring five, police said on Monday.
The fire broke out late on Sunday as the girls aged five to 12 slept at the Christian school in the northern province of Chiang Rai. The school is for girls from the area's hill-tribe villages.
"Most of the losses were because the children were asleep," said district police chief Colonel Prayad Singsin.
"Those that got out were awake," he said.
Two of the injured were in critical condition, he said.
The cause of the fire was not known, he said.
(Reporting by Pairat Temphairojana and Panarat Tehpgumpanat; Editing by Robert Birsel)