GUYANA’s media are reporting that police there have received instructions to charge the 15-year-old girl who allegedly set the female dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary school on fire with 19 counts of murder.
A report from Guyana’s media outlet, the News Room, said they were reliably informed that the file was sent to the police with recommendations that the girl faces a murder charge for each life claimed in the horrific fire.
She is likely to face the courts early in the new week, the report said,
A total of 19 children– 18 girls and one boy- died in the devastating fire which started after 11 pm on May 21.
Guyana’s police have claimed that the suspect set the fire after her cellphone was confiscated by the house mother.
The fire continued for some three hours before it was controlled.
Another 29 girls were injured in the fire. Many of them have received treatment for their physical injuries and are receiving mental-health support, the News Room said.
Two girls were critically injured and on Saturday, one of them, a 13-year-old, was flown to New York for critical care.
The bodies of 14 persons were burnt beyond recognition and DNA samples had to be sent to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for analyses. The remains were all subsequently positively identified.
An estimated 56 children were housed in the dormitory which was heavily grilled; the doors were also keyed and the house mother could not find the keys in time to open the doors during the incident.
The school housed girls from Mahdia, Campbelltown, Micobie, El Paso and several other villages in the North Pakaraimas in Region 8.
There has been an outpouring of support for Guyana from the region, including the TT Government.
Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne said the PM has exchanged formal correspondence with Guyanese president Irfaan Ali following the tragedy.
He said there continues to be ongoing contact between the two governments.
“We are on alert for specific items or areas of assistance that their authorities would request based on the assessments that are underway.”