As the police prepare to send a file on the deadly Mahdia fire which claimed the lives of 19 children to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC for legal advice; Mayor of Mahdia, David Adams, has disclosed that the students were never exposed to fire drills and that the dormitory they were staying in was not equipped with a fire extinguisher.

Eighteen girls from Karisparu, Micobie and Chenapau all villages located in Region Eight, were killed in a fire on Sunday night at the Mahdia Secondary School female dormitory. A 5-year-old boy also perished in the fire.

During an interview, the mayor said, “The students weren’t trained on how to respond during a fire. There weren’t any fire prevention drills being practised.”

Mayor Adams also stated that even though the dormitory was grilled, it was not equipped with any fire extinguisher. “I felt security arrangements were inadequate and had there been more security guards and the place was better policed you won’t have the need to put in a grill to prevent children from escaping from their room or coming through the window,” he added.

The mayor’s position is that one security personnel stationed by the gate was not enough. However, he said, “Going forward, we have to look at the systems that are in place for dormitory and schools, and ensuring that the necessary precautions are taken.”

Coinciding with a statement from the Police, Mayor Adams explained that it was an aggrieved student whose phone was confiscated that reportedly set light a flammable liquid. The police in their report said the fire started in the bathroom of the female dormitory.

According to the mayor, that student is not hospitalized and he confirmed she is still in Mahdia.


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