Saint Lucia has joined the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in extending condolences to the Government and people of Guyana after several students died in a school dormitory fire.
Guyana’s Department of Public Information (DPI), which originally said 20 individuals succumbed, disclosed that the figure was incorrect and announced a revised death toll of 19.
The Government of Saint Lucia, through the Minister of External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation and Diaspora Affairs issued a statement to the people and Government of Guyana on the fire at Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory.
The Diplomatic note issued by External Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste reads:
On behalf of the Government and People of Saint Lucia, I express heartfelt condolences to the Government and People of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, on the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the horrific fire at the Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory in Central Guyana.
The Government of Saint Lucia joins the regional and international community in standing in solidarity with the Government and People of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana during this time of great national distress and mourning. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives and we pray that they continue to find strength and comfort in each other.
On behalf of the Government and People of Saint Lucia, I would like to once again express my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families and victims of this tragic event.”
Baptiste said his Ministry availed itself of the opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Guyana, the assurances of its highest consideration.
Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre said: “We pray for the recovery of the injured and strength for all those assisting during this difficult time.”
And CARICOM Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett also extended sincere condolences to the Government and people of Guyana following the fire in Mahdia on Sunday.
In her statement, the Secretary-General said the “CARICOM Community has received with great sorrow the shocking news of the fire at the high school in the Guyanese town of Mahdia.”
Barnett said CARICOM mourned with the families, friends, and communities that the ‘horrifying event’ impacted.
“We pray a speedy recovery for those injured and otherwise impacted and offer the support of CARICOM Member States as the community returns to normalcy,” the CARICOM official stated.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of unimaginable loss,” the Secretary-General said.
Headline photo: Guyana President Irfaan President Ali consoles grieving parent after deadly school dormitory fire. Image courtesy DPI.