15-year-old charged, remanded for Mahdia Secondary School deadly inferno


The teenager who allegedly started the deadly fire at the Mahdia Secondary School’s Dormitory in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) virtually appeared before Senior Magistrate Sunil Scarce at the Mahdia Magistrate’s Court earlier today.

She was not required to plea to the indictment which stated that she murdered Nicholeen Robinson, Martha D’Andrade, Shorline Bellarmine, Eulanda Carter, Adonijah Jerome, Subrina John, Cleoma Simon, Tracil Thomas, Andrea Roberts, Lisa Roberts, Rita Jeffery, Loreen Evans, Delicia Edwards, Belnisa Evans, Lorita Williams, Mary D’Andrade, Omefa Evans, Natalie Bellarmine and Arianna Edwards on May 21.

As such, she was remanded to the Juvenile Holding Centre and the matter was postponed until July 4, 2023.

The inferno killed 18 female students between the ages of 12 to 17 and a five-year-old boy, who was the son of the dorm parents.

Days following the horrific incident, the Guyana Police Force disclosed that the fire was allegedly started by one of the female students at the dorm after her cellular phone was taken away by the dorm’s mother and a teacher.

Initial information received from sources close to the investigation had revealed that the teen in question was reportedly previously suspended for engaging in activities contrary to the rules of the institution and was involved in an argument with the administrators during which she allegedly threatened to cause “trouble.”

The teenager had to undergo psychological supervision. The Mahdia school’s dormitory housed students from the communities of Karisparu, El Paso, Micobie and Chenapao, Region Eight.

The fire was allegedly set in the bathroom area of the dormitory. According to the surviving female students, they were asleep and were awakened by screams.

Upon checking, they saw fire/smoke in the bathroom area, which quickly spread in the building, causing several students to receive burns to their bodies and smoke inhalation, whilst several managed to escape.