Fire Gettyimages
Tragically, a 14-year-old girl who was injured in the fire has died while in intensive care. Representational image. Randy Faris

In a tragic turn of events, a 14-year-old girl named Sherana Daniels died due to injuries sustained in a fire at a dormitory in Guyana. This unfortunate incident has raised the death toll of the disaster to 20.

The Department of Public Information (DPI) in Guyana released an update confirming that Sherana Daniels died at approximately 10 am local time (14:00 GMT) at a hospital in the capital city of Georgetown.

Daniels "was one of the first persons air-dashed to Georgetown on the morning of Monday, May 22, and remained critical until her passing", the statement said.

"The MOH [Minister of Health] would like to thank the doctors, nurses and other staff members who worked assiduously with the hope that a miracle would be possible."

She had been transferred to the hospital for critical care after the fatal fire occurred at a boarding school in Mahdia during the late hours of May 21.

Before Daniels tragically died, the fire had claimed the lives of 18 female students and one five-year-old boy. The victims, primarily aged between 12 and 18, succumbed to the blaze.

The government has previously claimed that 13 of the bodies were so severely damaged that it was not possible to identify them physically; instead, DNA testing was required to verify the names of the deceased, Al Jazeera reported.

More than twenty students suffered injuries in the fire as well. One 13-year-old girl who was transferred over the weekend still receives specialized care at the Northwell Burn Center at the University Hospital in Staten Island, New York.

According to the DPI statement released Tuesday, she underwent the first of three operations on May 29 and is doing well.

"She is doing well and the ministry expects a positive outcome. Her mother is by her side and her father will be flown to New York this week," the statement said.

According to the police, the fire was ignited by a teenage student who expressed anger over the confiscation of her phone. The boarding school, which caters primarily to students from Indigenous communities in the vicinity of Mahdia, serves as a government institution.

It is worth noting that some of these communities are situated in remote areas, posing challenges in terms of accessibility.

On Monday, the teenage girl suspected of initiating the fire was formally charged with 19 counts of murder and is presently detained in a juvenile detention center awaiting trial. The incident has sparked inquiries regarding the school's safety protocols and procedures.

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