In Guyana, a 15-year-old student who is accused of intentionally setting a deadly school dormitory fire is facing life in jail since she has been charged as an adult. The Associated Press reports that on May 21, the accused student allegedly set fire to the girls’ dormitory at her school, killing 18 classmates as well as a 5-year-old kid.
The accused student was not only charged with 19 charges of murder on Monday, but also given a detention order until further court procedures. Investigators claim that she was upset with the administrator after having her cell phone taken away and set fire to Mahdia Secondary School as a result.
The student will return to court on July 5 after being denied the opportunity to enter a plea to the allegations. According to reports, the deadly fire outbreak began late at night. More than 20 pupils needed medical attention, and another 20 were rescued. The bulk of the injured have since been released, but one student who was among the critically hurt is still receiving specialized care at a hospital in New York, according to The Associated Press.
The dormitory’s doors were shut from the inside when the fire started, according to authorities in the Caribbean country, who also stated that the house mother or administrator had the keys to the doors.
The school official, according to National Security Advisor Gerald Gouveia, shut all five doors to prevent the female pupils from travelling to the city in plain sight to mingle with adult males. The age range of the residents in the dorm was between 12 and 15. Gouveia added that as the fire spread throughout the dormitories, the office manager panicked and struggled to control the keys.