Guyana police have charged a 15-year-old girl with nineteen counts of murder concerning the recent Mahdia Secondary School dormitory fire that killed 19 children.
The state-owned Guyana Chronicle reported that the teenager appeared via Zoom before Magistrate Sunil Scare and was not required to plead to the capital charges.
The publication said the teen will be held at a Sophia juvenile facility, and the court adjourned the matter until July 4, 2023.
Investigators said the May 21 Mahdia fire was ‘maliciously set’.
They identified the youngster as a suspect after allegations that she started the blaze after school officials confiscated her mobile telephone.
Fifty-seven female students were in the dormitory when the fire started.
Firefighters said they had to break holes in the wall to rescue some students because of ‘heavily grilled’ windows and locked doors.
The Guyana Chronicle said that in addition to the 19 students who died, 29 sustained injuries due to the fire.
And the privately-owned Stabroek News reported that Inspectors from the Guyana Fire Service are conducting fire prevention and preparedness assessments at schools and dormitories countrywide, which began a month before the May 21 blaze at Mahdia.
Headline photo: The 19 students who perished in the Mahdia fire (Image courtesy Guyana Chronicle)