Thursday 21 September 2017

Death toll in Guatemala fire rises to 40

Protesters gather in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City (Moises Castillo/AP)
Protesters gather in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City (Moises Castillo/AP)
Protesters demonstrate in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City (AP)

The death toll in a fire at a Guatemalan children's shelter has risen to 40 with the death of another girl due to burns.

The death was announced by the Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala's capital on Sunday.

The fire began when mattresses were set ablaze during a protest by residents at the overcrowded youth shelter.

Authorities are still searching for answers in the disaster that has put a spotlight on failings in Guatemala's child protective services.

The prosecutor's spokeswoman Julia Barrera said the head of the country's protective services agency has been ordered not to leave Guatemala.

Nineteen of the adolescents died at the scene of Wednesday's inferno and another 21 have died in local hospitals.

AP

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