Guatemala Loses At Least 19 Children in Fire Attack

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A victim of a fire at the children’s shelter Virgen de la Asuncion, is rushed into a hospital in San Jose Pinula, about 30km east of Guatemala City, on March 8, 2017. At least 19 people died in a fire at a children’s shelter in Guatemala, a spokesman for the local fire service said. It was not immediately known how many of the bodies were those of children. The center, supervised by state social welfare authorities, hosts minors who are victims of family mistreatment. The facility has been the target of multiple complaints alleging abuse, and several children have run away.
DANILO RAMIREZ / AFP

According to Firefighters, at least 19 people died in a fire at a shelter for abused children in Guatemala on Wednesday.No one knows how this happened immediately, sadly quite a number of children lost their lives.

The fire services spokesman, Mario Cruz, told reporters that commanders have “informed us that they have already counted 19 people deceased” in the Virgin of the Assumption Safe Home located in San Jose Pinula, a village just to the east of the capital.

25 people were also injured, suffering burns of various degrees. They were taken to state hospitals in Guatemala City. Initial reports suggested that some of the children and teenagers in the shelter had protested overnight against poor food and treatment by staff.

The UN children’s fund UNICEF on its Twitter feed “condemns the tragedy” and emphasised: “These children and adolescents must be protected.”

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