At approximately 0000 EST, reports began to emerge of a massive fire at the Mahdia Secondary School in Guyana. By 0030 EST, the Guyanese government confirmed that a “full scale emergency response” was underway, but was being limited by severe weather. The school is located 100 miles from Georgetown.
According to eyewitnesses, several children were unable to leave their rooms due to locks or chains on the outside, which also hampered the fire department from reaching them. PM Singh-Lewis vowed an investigation into this claim.
By 0100 EST, privately owned aircraft began to depart Ogle airport to pick up dozens of burn victims. At 0200, Guyanese President Ali declared that all available air resources were being diverted to evacuate victims to Ogle where medical staff were ready to receive. A full-scale emergency plan of action was declared after at least 20 were confirmed killed and possibly two others still missing.