The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack is set to receive the police file on the deadly Mahdia dorm fire tomorrow, as the Guyana Police Force confirms that the fire was started by a student.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the child deliberately started the fire after her cell phone was confiscated by the dormitory’s supervisor and a teacher.
The fire broke out on Sunday night in the dormitory, which housed 57 female students. The dormitory was a single-story concrete building, measuring approximately 100 feet by 40 feet, with grilled windows and five doors.
According to eyewitness accounts from the female students, they were asleep when they were awoken by screams. Upon investigation, they discovered smoke and flames originating from the bathroom area, rapidly spreading throughout the building. Some students managed to escape, but others suffered burns and smoke inhalation.
In the aftermath of the fire, the injured students were rushed to Mahdia District Hospital for medical treatment. Tragically, five female students succumbed to their injuries at the hospital. The fire completely destroyed the building, and a search operation recovered the charred remains of 14 individuals.
Government Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh conducted post-mortem examinations on six of the bodies, namely Nicholeen Robinson, Shorlin Bellarmine, Eulanda Carter, Subrina John, Martha D’Andrade, and Adonijah Jerome. The cause of death for these victims was determined to be smoke inhalation and burns. The bodies were subsequently identified by their relatives and released for burial.
Of the surviving students, seventeen were airlifted to Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) for further medical care. Their conditions remain stable but critical. Additionally, eleven other students are presently in stable condition at Mahdia District Hospital.
A Probation Officer was present during interviews conducted with several students, and their statements were recorded as part of the ongoing investigation. The crime scene is currently secured and under police guard, as authorities continue their inquiries.
The police file, containing the findings of their investigation, will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions tomorrow morning (Wednesday).