Tags: guatemala | shelter | fire | kills | girls

Guatemala Shelter Fire Kills 30 Girls in Overcrowded Home

Image: Guatemala Shelter Fire Kills 30 Girls in Overcrowded Home

Relatives gather outside the children's shelter Virgen de la Asuncion after a fatal fire at the facility in San Jose Pinula, about 10 kilometres east of Guatemala City, on March 8, 2017. (Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, 09 Mar 2017 10:59 AM

The death toll at a Guatemala shelter for abused children that caught fire Wednesday, rose to 30 after authorities confirmed eight more girls died of injuries suffered in the arson fire at the overcrowded home.

The fire broke out on Wednesday when some residents set mattresses ablaze following an escape attempt from the government-run Virgen de Asuncion home for youths aged up to 18, in San Jose Pinula, 25 km (15 miles) southwest of the capital, Guatemala City.

The girls whose deaths were announced on Thursday had been taken to hospitals in Guatemala City.

Authorities were investigating to determine if the fire was started by residents who had been isolated after a riot and escape attempt on Tuesday night.

Guatemala is plagued by Latin America's worst rates of child malnutrition and street gangs like the Mara Salvatrucha that often prey on minors. Conditions in the Central American nation's public institutions are often dismal and overcrowded.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Bill Trott)

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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The death toll at a Guatemala shelter for abused children that caught fire Wednesday, rose to 30 after authorities confirmed eight more girls died of injuries suffered in the arson fire at the overcrowded home.
guatemala, shelter, fire, kills, girls
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2017-59-09
Thursday, 09 Mar 2017 10:59 AM
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