Mahdia tragedy: DNA to be carried out on 13 bodies, autopsies completed on other six


To confirm their identities, DNA tests will be conducted “expeditiously” on the bodies on 13 of the 19 children who perished in the fire at the Mahdia Secondary school female dormitory, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken said Monday afternoon.

Autopsies have been conducted on the remaining six victims; the results of the autopsies were not immediately released.

A Guyana Fire Service (GFS) investigation has concluded that the fire was maliciously set.

Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken

The News Room was reliably informed that the fire was started by a student who was upset that her phone was taken away after school authorities objected to her engaging in matters dangerous to her wellbeing with an adult.

In the said update, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dwayne Scotland said the point of origin of the fire was the south west end of the building.

The scene has been handed over to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) as the investigation continues.

Hicken assured that the investigation will be concluded “swiftly” after which, he said a press release will follow.

19 persons perished in the fire which started at around 23:40hrs Sunday.

They are:

Bibi Rita Fiona Jeffery, 13 from Karisparu

Sabrina John, 16, from Karisparu

Loreen Evans, 14, from Karisparu

Belnisa Evans,13, from Karisparu

Twin sisters Mary and Martha Dandrade, 15, from Chenapau.

Omefia Edwin from Micobie

Natalie Bellarmine from Micobie

Andrea Roberts, 13 from Micobie

Lorita Williams from Micobie

Nickleen Robinson from Micobie

Sherena Daniels from Micobie

Eulanda Carter from Micobie

Lisa Roberts from Micobie

Cleoma Simon from Micobie

Tracil Thomas from Micobie

Sisters Delecia Edwards, 15 and Arianna Edwards, 13 from Micobie

A five-year-old boy, Adonijah Jerome, from Micobie also perished also in the fire. He was the son of one of the house parents.

A total of 29 girls were rushed to the Mahdia Hospital. Nine of the girls were airlifted to Georgetown for treatment; they are nursing serious burn injuries.

The News Room understands that firefighters experienced a number of challenges including severe weather conditions in the region before they managed to control the blaze.

An estimated 56 children were housed in the dormitory.

The school houses girls from Mahdia, Campbelltown, Micobie, El Paso and several other villages in the North Pakaraimas in Region 8.

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