At least 19 young people died and 21 others were injured in a fire at a school residence in the small Guyanese town of Mahdia on Sunday night, firefighters said on Monday, after the government previously reported 20 dead.
The fire broke out Sunday night in the dormitory of the student residence of this city located in the center of the country, located in the north of Brazil and which also borders Venezuela and Suriname.
“Fourteen young men died instantly, while five died in the district hospital of Mahdia. Two minors remain in critical condition, while four sustain serious injuries,” firefighters said in a statement on Monday morning.
These six wounded”They were flown to Georgetown”while “five others are still hospitalized in Mahdia and another ten are under observation”, according to the same source.
In a previous report, the government had reported 20 deaths in this fire whose origin is still unknown.
Young people from “11-12 to 16-17 years old” lived in the residence., according to a source who accompanied the rescuers and who requested anonymity. The building was consumed by flames. The roof, which was sheet metal, collapsed and only the blackened walls remained.
The government said five planes took off for Mahdia to help deliver more medical treatment.
“The president and other officials support the efforts deployed at Ogle (Georgetown airport, the capital) to accommodate critically ill patients and coordinate an emergency action plan,” said the government, which it urged to “continue to pray for those children, their families and their communities.
“It’s a great catastrophe. It’s terrible, it’s painful”said the president, Irfaan Ali, at the airport.
“We have launched large-scale medical rescue services […]I have also arranged for special measures to be taken” in the two large hospitals in the capital “so that all children in need of help receive the best possible treatment”, he added.
A security source told AFP on condition of anonymity that there were “many dead and wounded” and pointed out that the victims were “children”.
Mahdia is located about 200 km south of the capital of Guyana, e his region was hit by heavy rains.
“We wholeheartedly stand with the families and relatives of those affected by this tragedy,” opposition MP Natasha Singh-Lewis said. “We ask the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the causes of the fire and a detailed report on what really happened,” she added.
“We need to understand how this horrific and fatal event occurred and take all necessary steps to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”
Former Dutch and British colony, Guyana It is a small English-speaking nation of 800,000 people.
One of the deadliest
Sunday’s fire in Guyana is among the deadliest in school residences in 30 years, according to an AFP database.
In the night between March 25 and 26, 2001, an arson attack in a high school residence near Nairobi killed 67 students. The charred bodies of 58 males aged between 14 and 18 were removed from the rubble, while nine other students died in hospital from their injuries.
On June 18, 1994, 40 students died burned alive, and 47 were injured in a fire that devastated a Catholic secondary school for girls in the Kilimanjaro region (north). The fire, which completely destroyed a residence and two other buildings, was declared while the students were sleeping.
On March 5, 2001, 30 students were burned to death when the dormitory in which they had been confined, like every night, caught fire in a public secondary school in the center of the country.
The Night of the Fire the school suffered a power outagetherefore it was lit only with oil lamps.
In the night between 17 and 18 September 2019, 27 students of a Koranic school, all between 10 and 20 years old and of Guinean origin, as well as a teacher die in the fire of their house, adjacent to the Bassa mosque, on the outskirts of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.
The fire, possibly caused by an electrical problem according to the carabinieri, broke out near the only access door to the dormitory, surprising the students as they slept.
On September 14, 2017, 21 students and two teachers die in the fire provoked by a Koranic school in Kuala Lumpur. The victims were trapped in their homes by the metal bars that covered the windows.
A 16-year-old teenager was convicted in the first instance of setting fire to his bedroom, but has appealed the sentence.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.