Deadly Mahdia fire: Police confirms teen sets building on fire killing 19, seeks DPP’s advice

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is expected to approach the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today to seek advice on the way forward regarding the deadly Mahdia Secondary School dormitory fire that has taken the lives of 19 young people.
During its investigations, detectives interviewed several students in the presence of a Probation Officer to ascertain what really transpired leading up to and on the evening of Sunday when the female dormitory was set ablaze.
This far, the Police have confirmed that the fire was purposely set by an alleged angry student who retaliated after her mobile phone was confiscated by the dorm’s mother and a teacher.
The Police statement also confirmed that on the evening of the fire, there were 57 female students in the dormitory – a one-flat concrete building measuring about 100 feet by 40 feet, with several windows, all grilled, and five doors.
“According to the female students, they were asleep and were awakened by screams. Upon checking, they saw fire/smoke in the bathroom area, which quickly spread in the building, causing several students to receive burns to their bodies and smoke inhalation, whilst several managed to escape,” the release stated.
The injured students were, however, taken to the Mahdia District Hospital where they were examined and admitted as patients by doctors. At the hospital, five of the female students were subsequently pronounced dead.
Subsequently, a search was carried out in the gutted building during which 14 burnt remains of human beings were found.
Nevertheless, on Monday, Government pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh performed autopsies on six of the bodies namely, Nicholeen Robinson, Shorlin Bellarmine, Eulanda Carter, Subrina John, Martha D’ Andrade, and Adonijah Jerome at the Mahdia District Hospital’s mortuary and gave the cause of death as smoke inhalation and burns.
The bodies were identified by relatives and handed over to them for burial. On the said date, the 13 charred remains were transported to Georgetown and are presently at the Memorial Gardens Funeral Home for storage and DNA analysis.
Meanwhile, 17 of the female students were medevacked to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for further medical treatment, with at least three in critical condition. Further, another 11 students are presently in stable condition at Mahdia District Hospital.