Sunday 24 September 2017

Some 40 girls killed after mattresses at children's shelter set ablaze

Protesters demonstrate in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City (AP)
Protesters demonstrate in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City (AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

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

The death was announced by Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala's capital. Nineteen of the adolescents perished at the scene of Wednesday's inferno and 21 others have died in local hospitals.

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

Another victim, 14-year-old Ana Roselia Perez Junay, was buried on Sunday as authorities were still searching for answers in the disaster that has put a spotlight on failings in Guatemala's child protective services.

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)
People carry the coffin containing the remains of 14-year-old Madelyn Patricia Hernandez Hernandez, a girl who died in a fire at the Virgin of the Assumption Safe Home, at the Guatemala City's cemetery (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Prosecutors' spokeswoman Julia Barrera has said that the head of the country's protective services agency was ordered not to leave Guatemala while investigations continue.

Four of the burn victims were flown to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas, on Saturday. The office of President Jimmy Morales said the Shriners Hospitals had arranged for their transfer.

Relatives carry the coffin containing the remains of 17-year-old Siona Hernandez Garcia, a girl who died in a fire at the Virgin of the Assumption Safe Home, at the Guatemala City's cemetery (AP Photo/Luis Soto)
Relatives carry the coffin containing the remains of 17-year-old Siona Hernandez Garcia, a girl who died in a fire at the Virgin of the Assumption Safe Home, at the Guatemala City's cemetery (AP Photo/Luis Soto)
Protesters gather in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City (Moises Castillo/AP)

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