Guatemala shelter fire death toll rises to 40

Associated Press

Guatemala City — The death toll in a fire at a Guatemalan children’s shelter rose to 40 on Sunday with the announcement that another girl has died of burns.

The death was announced by the Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala’s capital. Nineteen of the adolescents perished at the scene of Wednesday’s inferno and another 21 have died in local hospitals.

The fire began when mattresses were set ablaze during a protest by residents at the overcrowded youth shelter.

Authorities are still searching for answers in the disaster that has put a spotlight on failings in Guatemala’s child protective services. Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Julia Barrera says the head of the country’s protective services agency has been ordered not to leave Guatemala while investigations continue.

Four of the burn victims were taken by airplane Saturday to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas.

The office of President Jimmy Morales said the Shriners Hospitals had arranged for their transfer.