Death toll in Guatemala children's shelter fire rises to 40

People hold out sheets of paper with the names of the girls who perished in the youth shelter fire, during a protest demanding justice for the victims. Photo / AP
People hold out sheets of paper with the names of the girls who perished in the youth shelter fire, during a protest demanding justice for the victims. Photo / AP

The death toll in a fire at a Guatemalan children's shelter has risen to 40 with the death of another girl due to burns.

The death was announced yesterday by the Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala's capital.

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

People hold out sheets of paper with the names of the girls who perished in the youth shelter fire, during a protest demanding justice for the victims. Photo / AP
People hold out sheets of paper with the names of the girls who perished in the youth shelter fire, during a protest demanding justice for the victims. Photo / AP

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.

Nineteen of the adolescents perished at the scene of Wednesday's inferno and another 21 have died in local hospitals.

- AP

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