Guyanian officials have claimed that a student who was upset about having her mobile phone taken away is suspected of purposefully starting a fire which turned deadly at a school dormitory in the South American country. 19 people, mostly female students, perished after the fire spread through the dormitory on Monday (May 22).
According to reports, the dormitory was secured and the windows were covered, making it impossible for victims to flee.
The adolescent suspect, who sustained burns, is currently undergoing medical attention and is rumoured to have admitted to deliberately lighting the fire.
According to a government source who spoke with the AFP news agency, authorities are debating whether to file charges against her.
The fire at the building, which at the time housed 57 students and was partially made of wood, started in the bathroom and swiftly spread throughout the entire structure.
The central town of Mahdia’s survivors described being woken up in the middle of the night by screams.
The girl is alleged to have threatened revenge after receiving punishment for her relationship with an older male, according to a story by the Associated Press.
It has come to light that the dormitory manager, who sadly lost her five-year-old son in the fire, was in such a panic that she was unable to find the keys to unlock the door.
To assist with the evacuation, firefighters resorted to busting through the barriers.
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However, unfavourable weather conditions hindered their initial success in confining the fire.
Numerous people were hurt in addition to the victims, the bulk of whom were indigenous girls.
Some of them were sent to hospitals in Georgetown, the nation’s capital, and some are still in severe condition.
Local media accounts state that because of the fire’s ferocity, specific individuals had to be identified using DNA testing.
Irfaan Ali, the President of Guyana, has previously described the fire as a “major disaster”.
President Ali said: “This is horrific, it’s painful.
“And many responses have to occur at the same time. So, we’re putting all of that in place.”
He added: “I ask that as a nation we utilize the next three days as three days of prayers for these children, their families, and the community.”
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