The authorities in Guyana reported on Tuesday that the fire that occurred Sunday in the dormitory of a girls’ school in the center of the country and killed 18 people (all of them minors), in addition to one boy, was caused by a girl who was angered by the confiscation of her mobile phone by the administration.
In a statement, the police in this small country in northern South America said, “It is suspected that a schoolgirl caused the devastating fire, because her mobile phone was confiscated from her.”
For his part, a government official told Agence France-Presse (on condition of anonymity) that the student was injured in the fire and confessed to standing behind him.
The fire broke out Sunday in the dormitory of a girls’ school in Mahdia, a mining town in the center of the small English-speaking country in South America.
The disaster left 18 dead, in addition to one boy, the son of the dormitory director.
🔴 GUYANA:#VIDEO TRAGIC FIRE AT A GIRL’S SCHOOL DORMITORY IN SMALL MINING TOWN OF MAHDIA!
At least 20 people died, incl. students, 7 injured.#BreakingNews #UltimaHora #Guayana #Guyane #Mahdia #Fire #Incendio #Incendie #SchoolFire pic.twitter.com/pLefxy0WgI
– LoveWorld (@LoveWorld_People) May 22, 2023
According to the government official, the dormitory administration “confiscated the girl’s mobile phone, and she threatened on the evening of the same day to set the building on fire, and everyone heard her.”
The source explained that the schoolgirl is currently being treated in hospital – under police supervision – for injuries she sustained in the fire.
He added that after her mobile phone was confiscated, the student went to the bathroom at night and sprayed insecticide on a curtain and set it on fire with a match, and female survivors confirmed this story.
In their statement, the police said, “The girls said they were asleep and were woken up by screaming. They saw fire and smoke in the bathroom, which quickly spread throughout the building.”
Despite the girls’ attempts to put out the flames, the fire spread quickly and destroyed the entire building, especially since it was partially made of wood.
The government source pointed out that the dormitory administration confiscated the phone from the girl because it is forbidden for female students to possess mobile phones.
“They are not allowed to have mobile phones. (The dormitory officials) caught this girl with a phone, and it seems that she was sending pictures,” he said.
The authorities declared a 3-day national mourning for the victims of this disaster.