At least 20 people were killed and several more were injured in a fire that started around midnight Sunday in a student dormitory at a secondary school in Mahdia, southwest of the city of Georgetown, it was reported.
We have lost many beautiful souls in that fire. The death toll now stands at 20, while others have been injured, a statement from Guyana's Department of Public Information read.
This is horrendous. We still don't know exactly what caused the fire, although that is not a priority right now. Our priority right now is the children and that we provide them with as much help as possible, Guyana President Irfaan Ali said. All efforts are underway to have a large-scale medical evacuation and reinforcement response, he added.
Human Services and Social Protection Minister Dr. Vindhya Persaud stated that a team effort is underway to ensure that the best care is provided to the patients. “We are now focusing on providing support not only to the survivors who are experiencing the trauma of the ordeal but also to their parents and families who are also dealing with the trauma,” the Minister said.
Six girls were transported from Mahdia and transferred to the hospital with varying degrees of burns and other injuries. She added that out of the six patients, two were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and fully intubated and on ventilative support, Dr. Vickita Nandan said during a press briefing.
Another patient underwent limb-saving surgery in the operating theatre due to the extent of her injuries. In contrast, three others have been admitted to the pediatric high-dependency unit at the hospital, she added.
Meanwhile, the opposition political alliance A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change has spread the need to carry out a thorough investigation into the causes of the conflagration in order to establish responsibilities.