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The girl, who is about 14, was burned in the fire and is in a hospital in the area.

She is expected to be released from the hospital this week and held in juvenile detention until she is an adult, said Leslie Ramsammy, an adviser to the health ministry.

“She did this out of love for them. She felt she was forced to do so because many of them leave the building at night to socialise,” Gouveia told The Associated Press.

“This is a very sad situation, but the state is going to work with the students and the families to provide all the support they need.”

All but one of the victims were Indigenous girls aged 12 to 18 from remote villages served by the boarding school in Mahdia, a mining community near the Brazil border. The remaining victim was the fiveyear-old son of the house mother. Many of the victims were trapped as the building burned, though firefighte­rs were able to rescue people by breaking holes through one of the walls.

“The house mother was asleep at the time inside the building but panicked and could not find the right keys to unlock the building from inside but she made it out. She also lost her five-year-old child in the fire,” Gouveia said.

Many of the nine people hospitalis­ed are in a serious condition. Police were expected to charge the man who had the relationsh­ip with the student with statutory rape because she was under 16, Gouveia said.

Guyana’s government has accepted offers from the United States to send forensic and other expert teams to help with the investigat­ion, Gouveia said.

The government also was sending specialist­s in DNA identifica­tion to help identify remains of 13 of the 19 victims who died at the scene. “Leaders from all over the world have been offering to help us at this time. They were calling and messaging President Ali (Irfaan) while he was on the ground in Madhia on

 ?? Photo: 9News ?? A total of 19 people have been killed in a dorm room fire in Guyana.
Photo: 9News A total of 19 people have been killed in a dorm room fire in Guyana.
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