Death toll in Guatemala children's shelter fire rises to 40

Death toll in Guatemala children's shelter fire rises to 40

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 12, 2017 at 7:51 p.m.


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GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The death toll in a fire at a Guatemalan children's shelter rose to 40 on Sunday with the announcement that another girl had died of burns.

The death was announced by Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala's capital. Nineteen of the adolescents perished at the scene of Wednesday's inferno and 21 others have died in local hospitals.

The fire began when mattresses were set ablaze during a protest by residents at the overcrowded youth shelter.

Another victim, 14-year-old Ana Roselia Perez Junay, was buried Sunday as authorities were still searching for answers in the disaster that has put a spotlight on failings in Guatemala's child protective services. Prosecutors' spokeswoman Julia Barrera has said that the head of the country's protective services agency was ordered not to leave Guatemala while investigations continue.

Four of the burn victims were flown to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas, on Saturday. The office of President Jimmy Morales said the Shriners Hospitals had arranged for their transfer.

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