Commissioners sworn in for Mahdia fire inquiry

Georgetown – President Dr Irfaan Ali has promised affected families and Guyanese at large a “balanced, impartial and thorough” examination into the circumstances surrounding the tragic fire at the female dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School in Region Eight that claimed the lives of 20 children.

The President made the commitment on Thursday after the members of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) were sworn in at the Office of the President.

The president also acknowledged that the tragedy was one that plunged the entire country in mourning.

“Our entire nation was thrown into deep grief but none more grave than the families of those who lost loved ones in the fire.”

He, however, believes that the time is right to conduct that “balanced, impartial and thorough” examination of the fire and the events surrounding it.

According to Ali, his government wanted to give the families enough time and space before pursuing an inquiry that could potentially “aggravate” their trauma.

With the establishment of the commission of inquiry, the President has asked persons to cooperate with the Commissioners and he also urged the Commissioners to work diligently.

He also told reporters that the Commissioners would visit Region Eight as part of their inquiry and the work of the Commission should span about two months.

Previously, Ali said the findings of the commission of inquiry would inform the government’s actions moving forward as it continues to provide support to the affected families and communities.

In May, 19 girls and a five-year-old boy lost their lives in the fire that destroyed the building. Several others were injured with one 13-year-old girl still receiving care abroad.

It was reported that the fire was started by a young student who has since been charged with 20 counts of murder. (CMC

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