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Death toll in Guyana dormitory fire rises to 20 | Crime News

A 14-year-old girl injured in the fire has died in intensive care, as the teenage arson suspect faces murder charges.

A 14-year-old girl has succumbed to injuries sustained during a fire at a dormitory in the South American state of Guyana, bringing the disaster’s death toll to 20.

Guyana’s Department of Public Information (DPI) released an update on Tuesday stating that teenager Sherana Daniels had died around 10am local time (14:00 GMT) at a hospital in the capital of Georgetown.

She had been transported there for intensive care following the deadly fire at a boarding school in the town of Mahdia late at night on May 21.

Daniels “was one of the first persons air-dashed to Georgetown on the morning of Monday, May 22, and remained critical until her passing”, the statement said.

“The MOH [Minister of Health] would like to thank the doctors, nurses and other staff members who worked assiduously with the hope that a miracle would be possible.”

Prior to Daniels’s death, 18 female students and one five-year-old boy had been killed in the fire. Most were between the ages of 12 and 18.

The government has previously said that 13 of the bodies were so badly injured they could not be identified visually: DNA testing had to be used to confirm their names.

In addition, more than two dozen students were wounded in the fire. One 13-year-old girl continues to receive specialised treatment at the Northwell Burn Center at the University Hospital in Staten Island, New York, where she was transported over the weekend.

Tuesday’s DPI statement said she underwent the first of several surgeries on May 29 and remains stable.

“She is doing well and the ministry expects a positive outcome. Her mother is by her side and her father will be flown to New York this week,” the statement said.

Police have said the fire was started by a teenage student who was angry her phone had been confiscated. The government boarding school largely serves students from Indigenous communities in the region around Mahdia, some of them difficult to reach.

The teenage girl accused of starting the fire was charged on Monday with 19 counts of murder and is being held in a juvenile detention centre as she awaits trial. The incident has also prompted questions about safety procedures in place at the school.

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