March 8, 2017

At least 19 die in fire in Guatemala children’s shelter

At least 19 people died in a fire at a children’s shelter in Guatemala on Wednesday, a spokesman for the local fire service said.

Commanders have “informed us that they have already counted 19 people deceased” in the Virgen de la Asuncion facility located in San Jose Pinula, just to the east of the capital, the spokesman, Mario Cruz, told reporters.

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.