Antigua instructs LIAT to fly burnt Guyanese students to unit in Barbados-The government will foot the bill

Editorial Staff


njured children arrive to the airport in Georgetown, Guyana, Monday, May 22, 2023. A nighttime fire raced through a secondary school dormitory in the town of Mahdia early Monday, killing at least 20 students and injuring several others, authorities said.

The Antigua and Barbuda government has authorized the use of the LIAT ATR to immediately proceed to Guyana to airlift students to the burn unit in Barbados for further medical treatment

The LIAT ATR is currently being used for commercial purposes.

The Guyana Fire Service has confirmed that the fire which claimed 19 lives at the Mahdia Secondary School female dormitory and left others injured, was maliciously set.  56 children were at the dorm.  

In a statement issued today, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the court-appointed administrator of LIAT has been informed that Antigua and Barbuda will cover the costs borne for the airlifts.

“I have learned of the tragedy that occurred in Guyana and the loss of life of 19 young students in a fire that engulfed their sleeping quarters. Please accept my deepest sympathy on behalf of the government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda. The heartbreak which their parents are suffering surely impel us all to act to bring calm and peace to those bereaved,” PM Browne wrote in an official letter to Guyana’s President Irfan Ali.

Browne said “my government has also learned of the injured student whom the Guyanese authorities wish to fly to Barbados in order to provide them with specialized medical treatment. A burn unit is to be put to use in Barbados to the benefit of those children, the world has learned”

PM Browne ended his letter by expressing sympathies to the families saying that he was praying for a speedy recovery for those injured.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, Dr Carla Barnett, expressed sadness over the entire situation.

“We mourn with the families, friends, and communities who are impacted by this horrifying event.

“On behalf of CARICOM, I extend sincere condolences to the Government and people of Guyana. We pray for a speedy recovery for those injured and otherwise impacted and offer the support of CARICOM member states as the community returns to normalcy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of unimaginable loss,” said Barnett in a statement.


  1. Anonymous

    Kudos to the government of Antigua and Barbuda. Wishing a speedy recovery to the injured and condolences to the bereaved.

    • Anonymous

      A BIG Thanks to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados for our children at this time .Thank you so much..

  2. Sharon Weekes

    A big thank you to the government of Antigua and Barbuda for such a amazing offer. We salute you guys and we as Guyanese we be forever grateful for this. It’s a very sad time for us.


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