Monday’s deadly fire in a school dormitory in Guyana that killed 19 people, mostly female students, was apparently started by one of the students who was angry that their phone had been confiscated.
The bedroom was locked and the windows were covered at the time of the fire, trapping the victims inside.
The fire at the school in the city of Mahdia was started in a toilet and then engulfed the entire building, which was built of wood and housed 57 female students at the time. Survivors said they were awakened by screams in the middle of the night.
The teenage suspect is currently in the hospital with burns and has reportedly confessed to the arson. Authorities are now considering whether to press charges against her, the BBC reports.
She is accused of threatening to attack after being punished for having an affair with an older man.
The dorm manager whose five-year-old son died in the fire panicked when the fire broke out and couldn’t find the keys to unlock the bedroom door.
Firefighters had to break down walls to help people escape and initially struggled to put out the fire due to poor weather conditions.
In addition to the deaths, most of which were indigenous girls, several people were injured. Some are in serious condition.
Local media reported that the fire was so violent that DNA testing was required to identify the victims.