The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has joined with Guyana in mourning the deaths of 19 children in a fire at a school in the early hours of this morning.
In a brief statement issued a short while ago, CARICOM Secretary General Dr Carla Barnett said the regional body had received the “shocking” news “with great sorrow”.
“We mourn with the families, friends and communities who are impacted by this horrifying event. On behalf of CARICOM, I extend sincere condolences to the Government and people of Guyana.
“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. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of unimaginable loss,” she said.
A statement from the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) said the 19 children were killed when fire razed the dormitory at the Mahdia Secondary School, 100 miles southwest of the capital, Georgetown.
Firefighters were able to rescue 20 students by breaking holes in the north-eastern wall of the building, the GFS said.
Local reports said the injuries ranged from smoke inhalation to first, second and third degree burns.