Guyana: At least 20 killed in fire at a school dormitory

At least twenty people, most of them probably children, have died in a school dormitory fire in the center of Guyana in Mahdia, a landlocked mining town in this small country in the northeast of ‘South America’.

Guyana’s government said in a statement, “It is with great sadness that we bring you a heart-wrenching update about the Mahdia Secondary School dormitory fire. The death toll currently stands at 20. ” Still due to accident.

“Several other people were injured,” the government said, adding that “five planes have already left for Mahdia to provide additional medical equipment to regional health authorities and help with medical evacuations”.

“The President and other officials are supporting efforts at Ogle (Georgetown Airport) to accommodate patients in critical condition and coordinate an emergency response plan.

Guyana (AFP- Sophie Ramis).

A large-scale medical emergency action plan has been launched”, according to the text which “asks us to continue to pray for these children, their families and their communities”.

An AFP journalist said at least one plane reached Georgetown with three people on board.

“It’s a big disaster. It’s terrible, it’s painful,” President Irfan Ali had earlier said from the airport where he had gone to wait for help.

– “Thorough Investigation” –

“We are implementing massive medical relief (…) I have also ordered that special arrangements be made” at two major hospitals in the capital “so that each child seeking attention receives the best possible care,” he said. Said.

Children who survived a school dormitory fire in Mahdia are transferred to Georgetown Hospital in Guyana on May 22, 2023 (- Royston Drakes)
Children who survived a school dormitory fire in Mahdia are transferred to Georgetown Hospital in Guyana on May 22, 2023 (- Royston Drakes)

A security source told AFP on condition of anonymity that there were “many dead and wounded”, stressing that the victims were “children”.

Mahdia is located about 200 km south of Georgetown, while the area is affected by heavy rains.

Opposition MP Natasha Singh-Lewis said, “Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones affected by this tragedy.”

“We call on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire and provide a detailed report on exactly what happened. We must understand how this terrible and deadly incident happened and do what we can to prevent more such incidents. All necessary measures should be taken.” tragedy from happening in the future,” he added.

A small poor English-speaking country of 800,000 inhabitants, Guyana, a former Dutch and then British colony, has the world’s largest per capita oil reserves and rapid growth is expected in the coming years with the exploitation of these reserves which are still The beginning is at your level.

Experts estimate that there are approximately 15 billion barrels of oil reserves associated with significant gas reserves in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

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