All bodies positively identified following secondary school fire in Guyana

GEORGTOWN, Guyana (CMC) - The government of Guyana has announced plans to release the bodies of the girls who lost their lives earlier this week after fire engulfed a female dormitory at the Mahdia Secondary School.

Plans to release the bodies were announced after the government obtained DNA results matching the names of 13 bodies that were previously not visually identified.

DNA analyses were conducted on 14 bodies, the 13 bodies of girls from the Mahdia fire and one body of a boy child who died in the fire as well.

The samples from the forensic specimens were obtained from the 13 bodies by a specialist pathologist through a bilateral arrangement between Guyana and Barbados while another forensic specimen was obtained from a young boy and was taken by Guyanese pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh. These specimens were compared to DNA samples taken from parents and siblings.

The DNA analyses were conducted by the Pathology Laboratory of the internationally-recognised Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City.

Dr Carlos Cordon-Cardo, Professor and Systems Chair, and internationally renowned for DNA analyses, led a team of experts in conducting the analyses.

Arrangements have now been put in place by the Guyana Police Force for families to take possession of bodies, when and where, in accordance with their wishes.

The Government of Guyana will also be providing assistance and support to all families with funeral arrangements.

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