At least 17 girls died in the night after a fire swept through a school dormitory in northern Thailand, officials said Monday, adding several others were either missing or injured. The fire broke out late at night, meaning many of the girls were asleep and unable to escape as flames engulfed the two-storey building. "The fire broke out at 11pm on Sunday (1600 GMT). Seventeen girls were killed and two are still missing, with five injured," police colonel Prayad Singsin, Commander of Wiang Pa Pao district in Chiang Rai told AFP. Two of the injured are in a serious condition, he added. "The fire is out, but the cause of the blaze is still under investigation," Mr Prayad said, adding forensic officers were due to arrive on Monday. A Chiang Rai provincial official confirmed the death toll, adding that the privately-run school is home to girls aged between six and 13 years old, drawn mainly from the deprived local hill tribes. "There were 38 students inside the dormitory when the fire broke out. Some were not yet asleep so they escaped," deputy governor of the province Arkom Sukapan told AFP.