Guyana: At Least 19 Children Dead In School Dormitory Fire
At least 19 children have died, with several more people injured, after a fire broke out overnight on Sunday in a secondary school dormitory in the central Guyanese mining town of Mahdia.
- At least 19 children have died, with several more people injured, after a fire broke out overnight on Sunday in a secondary school dormitory in the central Guyanese mining town of Mahdia.1
- According to local media, the blaze started in a girls' dormitory in the boarding school, which serves children aged 12 to 18 from remote, mostly Indigenous villages.2
- Education Minister Priya Manickchand has announced that one of the deceased was the five-year-old son of the dorm parents, while the other 18 were girls aged between 12 and 17. At the time of the blaze, 56 girls were present in the Mahdia Female Dormitory.3
- The death toll, initially put at 20, was revised down to 19 after health care workers resuscitated a badly injured victim who was thought to be dead. 14 students died at the scene and five died at a hospital, where two others remain in critical condition.4
- Several other students are receiving medical attention for injuries, with at least six being flown to hospitals in the country's capital Georgetown — about 200 miles north — for treatment.5
- According to the government of the South American country located between Venezuela and Suriname, bad weather conditions made it harder for emergency services to contain the fire.6
Sources: 1New York Times, 2PBS NewsHour, 3Stabroek News, 4Al Jazeera, 5FOX News, and 6BBC News.
- Narrative A, as provided by Loop News. The cause of this tragic and deadly incident needs to be comprehensively investigated in order to bring potential culprits to account and ensure that such an event never happens again. The safety of these children was entrusted to the state, but they were failed with devastating consequences.
- Narrative B, as provided by Stabroek News. As preliminary inquiries are carried out, it has become clear that this deadly blaze was the result of arson. While it remains unclear who committed this crime, it will be discovered soon, as investigators are now interviewing witnesses.