20 teenage girls killed in Guatemala shelter fire

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International Desk : The death toll from a fire in a government-run children’s shelter in Guatemala rose to 20 late Wednesday after a girl aged around 14 succumbed to burns, the hospital treating her said.

All those killed in the blaze at the Virgin of the Assumption facility outside Guatemala City were teenage girls between 14 and 17 years old, officials said.

The fire broke out early Wednesday in the wing housing female adolescents. It was believed that residents started the fire during a rebellion against staff overnight.

A spokesperson for the San Juan de Dios hospital in the capital told AFP that the girl died “from the burns to her body.”

She was not immediately identified and her age was approximate, the spokesperson said.

Her death added to a previous toll of 19 given by the government.

Dozens of other young women were taken to hospitals in the capital, many suffering serious burns.

The Roosevelt Hospital in the city said it was treating 24 wounded people, six of whom were in critical condition.

The Virgin of the Assumption Safe Home for minors is located 10 kilometers (six miles) east of Guatemala City.

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