President hopes Inquiry into Drop-in Centre fire will provide answers to lingering questions

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President David Granger is hoping that the recently-established Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the deadly Hadfield Street Drop-in Centre fire on Friday, July 8, would provide answers to some lingering questions and give recommendations that would improve operations at the facility.

The Head of State was at the time speaking to Journalists on his recent weekly televised programme “The Public Interest”, where he also said he hoped that another incident of this nature never happened again.

President David Granger
President David Granger

“I would like to be satisfied that the children were properly looked after, that there was no misadventure. The important thing now is to prevent a recurrence, to find out what happened and we need to ensure that an answer is provided to the question in order to prevent a recurrence. That is what we are trying to do. Find out what the facts are and hope that something like this does not happen again,” the President told Journalists.

Granger described the incident as “quite a tragedy”. He said he expected to at least receive the preliminary report of the CoI, at earliest, next Friday, July 22, and the final report hopefully by the end of the month.

President Granger said questions have to be answered, including if the building and electrical wiring were safe, and whether the “people were trained to respond to that emergency”.

The question of whether the procedures were complied with for the safety of those children will also have to be answered.
Meanwhile, addressing the issue of the children being at the institution, President Granger made it clear that the State was not in the business of separating children from the comfort of their families, in fact he said that the safest place for a child to be was with his or her parents. However, investigations have proven that the case of the two children was different, as they were living under difficult conditions.

Last Friday, just after midnight, two young brothers perished in the fire which occurred at the Drop-in Centre on Hadfield Street, Georgetown.

It was reported that the elder brother, six-old-year Antonio, was asleep in the dormitory when the fire started.
When the younger brother, two-year-old Joshua, who was being taken out of the building by caregivers, realised his brother was not with him, he managed to escape the grip of the caregiver and run back into the burning building.
The two brothers were then trapped in the building and their charred remains were subsequently recovered.

 

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