"This is horrendous. We still do not know exactly what caused the fire, although that is not a priority right now. Our priority now is the children and that we provide them with the greatest possible help," Guyana President Irfaan Ali said.
"We have lost many beautiful souls in that fire. The death toll currently stands at 20, while other people have been injured," Guyana's Department of Public Information said, commenting that the fire started after 11 p.m. local time on Sunday.
President Ali said that the injured survivors will be transferred to hospitals in the capital city to receive the care they need.
19 persons perished in a fire at a female dormitory that housed students attending the Mahdia Secondary School in Region Eight Sunday night. The News Room has independently confirmed the identities of 10 of those persons. pic.twitter.com/UCjbzUfKar
Similarly, the authorities established a medical area at the Eugene Correia International Airport to treat some of the most critically injured.
"We are making every effort to have a large-scale medical evacuation and reinforcement," Ali said, adding that several private planes and military ships were also sent to Mahdia.
Meanwhile, the opposition alliance Association for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU + AFC) called for a thorough public investigation into the cause of the fire.
Government of Venezuela welcomes the ICJ's incidental ruling on the preliminary objections presented by Caracas against the unilateral claim of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana over the Essequibo. pic.twitter.com/1mdOlnj19P