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Mar 4, 2016

What’s the Latest on Independent Investigation into Deadly Youth Hostel Fire?

On November seventh, 2015 a fire broke inside one of the buildings at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel at mile twenty-one and a half on the George Price Highway. Three female minors, who were locked away in one of the rooms, lost their lives in the inferno. There was public outcry that negligence on the part of management led to their demise and the Ministry of Human Development asserted that there were breaches in policy at the institution. An independent investigation was sanctioned and carried out and a report has been handed over to the ministry for action to be taken. Well, it’s been three months and despite requests for an official report on the findings of the investigation, the family is nowhere closer to getting closure for the tragedy. Today, News Five managed to get an update from the ministry. It might not be what we wanted to hear, but here’s what C.E.O. Judith Alpuche had to say.

 

Judith Alpuche

Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“It’s not the answer that you want to hear, the one I want to give. The report is completed. The advise that we have, though, is that we need to step back a bit from our—we wanted as a ministry to come forward and to really sit down and report to the media and to the public. The advice is that that may not be the wisest move. There are certain processes that need to go forward and we need to wait for those processes because in our trying to be accountable by talking about the results of the reports, that may negatively impact accountability at another level in that there are certain processes in terms of disciplinary actions that might have to be taken. Also in terms of talking to the families about compensation and that kind of discussion. So the legal advice that we are getting is that we really need to have the processes go through first because we don’t then want a situation where people would be saying I didn’t…my process was prejudice; I didn’t get due process because you went out there with all this information and so that there are technicalities that we need to hang on to. So we have to listen to the legal advice and step back a bit and allow for these processes to go through. So as I said…not the answer that I want to give, but it is the considered legal advice. The ministry does not act independently and so we have to take it under advisement.”

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1 Response for “What’s the Latest on Independent Investigation into Deadly Youth Hostel Fire?”

  1. Marie says:

    Just listening or looking at the destruction we can see there was negligence in many levels. People whether locked up in jail or you are babysitting are under your care and you have to be accountable. Unfortunately, fire broke out causing destruction of property and lost of life.

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