BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS the people of Guyana still in a period of mourning, the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis also mourn with their fellow members of the Caribbean Community following a fire that claimed the lives of 19 children.
The fire had erupted around 11:00 p.m. on Sunday (May 21) at the female Dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School in Region Eight, trapping and killing 19 students - 18 females and a five-year-old male.
Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew has joined with regional leaders and institutions in offering condolences to the people of Guyana, especially to the parents and other family members of the deceased.
“It is difficult to express the deep sadness felt upon learning of the disastrous fire that occurred at the Mahdia Secondary School’s female dormitory.
“The void left by the 19 lives lost in the fire will ripple from immediate family and close friends to the wider community and the whole Guyanese citizenry. The effects of which may never be fully understood.
“The Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis offers its sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and to the Government and people of Guyana. We also pray that those families and friends would find some measure of comfort at this most difficult time,” Dr. Drew wrote on his social media page.
According to the Guyana Police Force, the fire started around 11:00 p.m. and ranks of the Guyana Fire Service received a call of it some 15 minutes later, and they immediately responded.
Upon arrival at the location, firefighters found the entire dormitory engulfed in flames and they began working to extinguish it, which took approximately three and a half hours to do so.
According to the police, 14 students died at the scene and a further five died at the Mahdia District Hospital.
Firefighters noted that in order to get into the building, they made holes in the north-eastern wall of the building, where they rescued 20 children.
The dormitory had an accommodation of 59 children.