Five girls burnt to death at Jamaican Juvenile Center

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Five girls were burnt to death and thirteen injured when fire broke out at a Correctional Centre in Alexandra, St Ann, Jamaica, on Friday night.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has given instructions immediately to relocate the inmates of the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre.

Ten of the girls who were injured and three with secondary burns have been moved to the Kingston Public Hospital.

According to a GIS release, Golding said a Commission of Enquiry will be ordered to determine exactly what took place. He said retired Court of Appeal president, Paul Harrison, has agreed to be the sole Commissioner and the Commission will begin working once the instruments have been signed by the Governor General.

Meanwhile, Golding said security at the centre has been beefed up and additional correctional officers and police have been put in place. Government will also be taking care of the funeral expenses.

The Prime Minister flew down to the Armadale Centre for a first hand view of the situation. He said efforts are being made to identify additional locations where the girls can be housed until repairs have been completed to the Montpellier Centre, which are already underway.

Having looked at the facility, Golding expressed grave concern about the safety of the girls there because this is not the first time that fire has been set to the facility. He said part of the building had been abandoned because of a previous fire and the girls were being housed in another section.

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