Guyana: Punished student causes hostel fire


A student who was punished caused a fire in the hostel

A fire that claimed the lives of 19 youths at a girls’ hostel in Guyana on Sunday was started by a teenager who was unhappy that her cell phone had been confiscated.


Firefighters and police arrived 25 minutes after the disaster began.


“A student is suspected of starting the devastating fire after a mobile phone was confiscated from her,” police said in a statement on Tuesday about the fire in Mahdia, a landlocked mining town in the small English-speaking country. ‘South America. Government sources said that the teenager confessed to the facts.

Shelter officials “confiscated her cell phone, and the girl threatened to set the building on fire that night, and everyone heard it,” the official said.

Minor, who is now hospitalized under police guard, went to the bathroom, sprayed the curtain with insecticide and set it on fire with a match, continued this evidence, promising that many other young women had given the same version of the facts. “According to the students, they were sleeping and woke up screaming. They found fire and smoke in the bathroom, which quickly spread throughout the building”, according to the police text.

Despite the efforts of other students to put it out, the fire spread rapidly and the partially wooden building was completely gutted. “They (students) are not allowed to have cell phones. They (the officers) found this woman with the phone. She is apparently sending photographs,” a government source said.


Adding to the drama was the fact that the head of the hostel “panicked” and failed to find the key that opened the exit door of the building with barred windows. The door is locked at 9 pm every night, the source added. The officer’s young son was among the 19 victims.

The men broke down the door to allow the survivors, including the arsonist, to escape. Firefighters and police arrived 25 minutes after the disaster, the same source said.

On Monday, Guyanese Police Chief Clifton Higgan had already noted that initial elements of the investigation suggested the fire was “maliciously ignited.” Thirteen young women and a boy died on the spot, while five young women died at Mahdia District Hospital. Officials have announced three days of national mourning.

(AFP)Show comments

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