A dormitory fire in Guyana that killed 19 children was reportedly set by a student who was upset that her phone was confiscated, according to police, reports the Insider. The fire occurred at the Mahdia Secondary School on Sunday.
The Guyana Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement that the fire was
Gerald Gouveia, the National Security Adviser, informed the Associated Press that the suspected student is being accused of starting the blaze after she was punished for having a fling with an older guy.
“A female student is suspected of having set the devastating fire because her cellular phone was taken away by the dorm mother and a teacher,”
Guyana Police’s communications chief, Mark Ramotar, said in a statement.
According to the Associated Press, the dormitory was locked to stop female students from sneaking out during the night. Gouveia informed the AP that the house mother was asleep inside the building and grew scared when she couldn’t locate the keys to unlock the doors. Although she managed to get out of the building, she
“lost her five-year-old child in the fire.”
When fire officials arrived at the scene, the dormitory where 57 students lived was
“engulfed in flames.”
The windows were barred and five doors were locked shut. 38 students managed to exit the dorm after firefights smashed holes into the walls. The students, including six children who were harshly injured, were transported to receive medical attention.
According to Deutsche Welle, an unnamed official said the girl confessed to starting the fire. An adviser to the country’s health ministry, Leslie Ramsammy, informed the AP that after she recovers, the unnamed student would stay in juvenile detention.
Officials are also seeking to charge the man she was talking to with statutory rape. According to the Associate Press, the girl was under 16 at the time.
#Clique, let’s keep those students’ families in our thoughts and prayers!