Mahdia tragedy: Bodies of children who died in fire should be positively identified by Friday
The bodies of the children who perished in the horrific fire at the Mahdia secondary school female dormitory should be positively identified by Friday, according to President Dr. Irfaan Ali.
This is expected because the children’s parents have all been tested and their DNA samples were sent to the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for analyses.
“A special plane was flown in to pick up those samples; that plane would return the results of those samples to Guyana and yes, they have given us a timeline of sometime on Friday.
“…As I am speaking to you now, the pathologists are working on that,” the President said on Thursday during a briefing in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo).
On Tuesday, Barbadian Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Shubhakar Karra Paul arrived in Guyana to assist authorities with identifying the bodies.
The Forensic Pathologist is expected to help with the identification of some 13 bodies through DNA testing; these bodies are believed to be badly charred and as such, have posed challenges to local authorities seeking to establish identities.
The President confirmed that samples were collected from all parents to help with the identification of the bodies.
A total of 19 children– 18 girls and one boy- died in the fire. Six autopsies have already been completed and one victim, 16-year-old Sabrina John, was laid to rest on Wednesday in her hometown Karisparu.
Meanwhile, the President urged all Guyanese to continue supporting the families and communities affected by the tragedy and reiterated the government’s full support at this time.
Special attention has been turned towards providing the necessary psychological support to persons affected by the tragedy. Importantly too, the President highlighted that 20 of the 29 children who were flown to Georgetown for treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital have been discharged.
Two of the children receiving care in Georgetown are, however, in a critical state. The government is considering whether they will be flown to Texas or Cuba for specialised care