Mahdia COI: Survivors, parents testify


Four children who survived the deadly fire at the Mahdia Secondary school dormitory and a few parents testified on Monday before the ongoing Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI).

This was confirmed by Secretary of the Commission, Javed Shadick who told the News Room that the hearings were held in camera.

Public hearings into the CoI commenced on September 15. To date, a number of witnesses, including officials from the Guyana Fire Service, as well as the dorm mother and father have testified.

However, due to the sensitivity of the information revealed in some of the testimonies and the age of the children, the Commission decided that hearings will not be live streamed and some of the proceedings will be in camera.

The CoI is chaired by Major General (Ret’d) Joe Singh (center). The two other Commissioners are attorney Kim Kyte-Thomas (right) and Chairman of the National Toshaos Council, Derrick John (left). (Photo: News Room/October 04,2023)

In May, 19 girls and a five-year-old boy lost their lives in the fire that destroyed the building. Several others, including a 13-year-old girl were injured.

It was reported that the fire was started by a young student who has since been charged with 20 counts of murder.

According to the Terms of Reference, the CoI will inquire into and report on everything leading up to the dormitory fire as well as the cause of the fire.

They will also investigate and report on what actions were taken to provide care, medical attention, and support to the injured and deceased and their relatives, in a timely manner.

Recommendations are also expected from the commission, which will include necessary measures to prevent a reoccurrence of such tragedies.

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