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Prime Minister Mia Mottley has pledged support to Guyana following a fire that engulfed a secondary school dormitory and trapped students, killing 19 of them, early Monday.
Fourteen children died on the scene of the blaze at Mahdia Secondary School in the mining town of Mahdia, central Guyana, while five died at the hospital. Firefighters were able to rescue 20 students.
“What has happened in Guyana is a tragedy that words simply cannot describe. It is a moment in which Barbados and the entire Caribbean join with Guyana in sharing their pain and loss. It is also a moment in which we rally with our Caribbean friends and family to aid in the healing and rebuilding process,” Prime Minister Mottley said in a statement on Monday.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Barbados, I offer my most sincere condolences and have offered to His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Government and the people of Guyana, any support they will need during this painful and difficult time.”

Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment Charles Griffith had earlier extended condolences to the relatives of the children who lost their lives.
Griffith, who said he was saddened and shocked by the news, told Barbados TODAY it was always challenging to come to grips with the tragic death of young people.

“I want to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to those persons in Guyana because the death of a young person is always a lot harder to deal with than someone who is senior,” he said.
“It was crushing to hear that 20 or so young persons would have perished in that fire. It is really, really unfortunate, and I can only imagine what their families would be going through.”

Griffith spoke to the media about the incident following the commencement ceremony of the Training of Trainers Workshop at his ministry on Monday.

He pointed out that the tragedy occurred in the year designated by the Commonwealth as the Year of the Youth.

“So, the focus is on young people even more so this year than before. And if you are using a youth lens like we are here at the Ministry, then this surely would impact at every possible level. So, I just want on behalf of the Ministry to again extend my sympathy to those persons who would now be going through that painful experience in Guyana,” Griffith said.

See the original article here: Barbados Today