Death toll from dormitory fire increases
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, May 30, CMC – The death toll from last week’s fire at the dormitory of a secondary school, 100 miles west of here, climbed to 20 on Tuesday after a 13-year-old school girl died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Doctors confirmed that 13-year-old Sherana Daniels had been suffering with injuries related to carbon monoxide inhalation and had cardiac arrests on two occasions.
Her 16-year-old sister, Trishana, who also attended the school but survived the tragedy, told reporters that the family is distraught at the death.
She said when she arrived at the hospital to visit her sister, a doctor asked her if she knew her sister’s condition was not better and she was then taken into the room where she saw her mother crying and informing her of the death..
Sherana was initially pronounced dead hours after the inferno last Monday but the death toll had to be revised since she was successfully resuscitated and flown to the capital for medical attention.
She was among several girls who survived and were patients at the GPHC. One was flown overseas at the weekend for critical care in New York.
On Monday, Magistrate Sunil Scarce adjourned to July 4, the case against a 15-year-old girl, charged with 19 counts of murder arising from fire at the dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School that housed female students from Mahdia, Campbelltown, Micobie, El Paso and several other villages in the North Pakaraimas in Region 8
The teenager, who is also a student of the school, was not required to enter a plea to the indictable charge when she appeared in court, via Zoom.
The teenager is accused of setting fire to the dormitory last Monday resulting in the deaths of 18 fellow students between the ages of 12 to 17and a five year-old boy.
Guyanese law prohibits the naming of juvenile accused persons or convicts. But it allows for her to charged with murder since she is older than 14 years.
When the matter resumes on July 5, it will be for statement and disclosure.
President Irfaan Ali has already announced that a Commission of Inquiry will “investigate the causes and circumstances of the fire which destroyed the dormitory and to enquire into related issues.”
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, while welcoming the government’s announcement, said that “such a commission must be independent and comprise persons who have the respect of all stakeholders so that the findings are credible and acceptable to all”.
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