Mahdia tragedy: Inquiry into fire will help gov’t improve dorms across Guyana – PM

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Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips says the forthcoming Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the tragic Madhia Secondary School dorm fire will help the government make improvements at dorms all across Guyana.

On Thursday, during his Independence Anniversary address in Lethem, Region Nine, President Dr. Irfaan Ali confirmed that a CoI into the fire would be established soon.

Hours later, the Prime Minister reasoned that this inquiry is necessary.

He said this inquiry will determine all of the factors that caused and contributed to the deadly blaze. It is also expected to recommend corrective measures that can be implemented to prevent any future tragedies.

An overhead view of what now remains of the dorms of the Mahdia Secondary School following the deadly fire

“Coming out of the CoI, in addition to determining blameworthiness, it will also offer an opportunity for recommendations that will help all of us to improve the dorms and facilities that we house our students when they are away from their families,” Prime Minister Phillips said.

It was reported that the fire was started by a young student, but safety concerns about the dormitory have been raised.

Dormitories like the one destroyed at Mahdia house students who live far away from nearby schools. In the case of the fire-ravaged dormitory, girls from several far-flung communities in Region Eight stayed there to attend the Mahdia Secondary School.

The Prime Minister affirmed that these facilities are important to help children advance their education.

The devastating fire started after 23:00 hrs on Sunday night and continued into the wee hours of Monday morning. Authorities confirmed that 18 girls and one boy died in the fire.

Another 29 girls were injured in the fire. Many of them have received the necessary treatment for their physical injuries and are receiving mental health support.

Two girls are, however, receiving critical care and one of those girls will be flown overseas for further treatment soon.

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