At Least 19 Victims Dead After Arson Act

( — A student is suspected of killing 19 people after starting a fire at her boarding school. The dead were mostly young girls, and the culprit allegedly started the fire in revenge for the confiscation of her phone. The incident occurred in Guyana on May 22nd and the teenage suspect was hospitalized for burns. She has admitted to arson.

The girl, who is about 14 years old, allegedly had an affair with an older man. She was disciplined for this by teachers and her cell phone was taken from her. The student reportedly declared that she would seek vengeance for the confiscation by burning down the school.

Later that night, pupils awoke to find their locked dorm ablaze. Firefighters were able to rescue some of the pupils, but the building was quickly engulfed and others could not be reached. The 5-year-old son of the school’s House Mother was among the dead.

National Security Adviser Gerald Gouveia said, “This is a very sad situation, but the state is going to work with the students and the families to provide all the support they need.”

Officials in Guyana have accepted help from the United States, who sent forensic experts to the scene to aid with the investigation. Other countries have also offered assistance, Mr. Gouveia said.

Police say they intend to prosecute the older man allegedly involved with the underage girl and are considering what charges to bring. The girl responsible for the fire is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility.

The boarding school, located around 200 miles from the capital of Georgetown, was home to mostly Indigenous pupils aged from 12 to 18. The fire was the deadliest in the modern history of the country. In 2016, inmates set a prison block alight in Georgetown, killing 17. That incident followed protests by prisoners about overcrowding and poor conditions. The inmates lived in accommodations that were meant to house 500 but contained more than 1,000.

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