- by cnn
- 30 Nov 2023
At least 19 of the 20 people who died in a "horrific" school dormitory fire were children, officials said on Monday, after a blaze tore through the building in the Caribbean country of Guyana.
Fourteen children died at the scene, Department of Public Information (DPI) said in a statement, while five died at the Mahdia District Hospital, according to a statement from Guyana's Fire Service.
Seven others were critically injured and "numerous others hospitalized and injured," it added.
"It is with great sadness that we bring to you a heart-wrenching update on the fire at the dormitory at the Mahdia Secondary school" in central Guyana, an earlier DPI statement said.ÃÂ "We have lost many beautiful souls in that fire."
The Guyana Fire Service said when they arrived at the dormitory, the building was already engulfed in flames "completely," according to a statement. Investigations are ongoing into what started the blaze.
"Firefighters did manage to rescue some 20 students by breaking holes in the north-eastern wall of the building," the Fire Service explained. "Our team is still on the ground investigating as we seek to provide clarity regarding how the fire started and all other necessary information."
The Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory, where the fire happened, is at the center of the Guyanese government's push to improve the education level in the less developed part of the country. lt mostly served indigenous children, although authorities couldn't immediately confirm if any of the children who were killed were from indigenous communities.
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