President Ali urges kindness, consideration for grieving Mahdia families

commits to continued support, discussions to find ‘best way forward’

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali travelled to Mahdia, Region Eight where he met with the families and victims affected by the fire that ravaged the Mahdia Secondary School’s female dormitory late Sunday evening into Monday.

The head of state joined the ministerial team in conveying his sincerest condolences to the families, noting that all the necessary personnel were promptly mobilised for a rescue operation upon notification of the tragedy.

The president said he is saddened that 19 children lost their lives in the blaze.

The ministerial team and President Ali would be engaging with the grieving families to provide the necessary support as they discuss the best way forward.

President Ali consoles a grieving parent

“I asked everyone here this morning to be kind to the family members. Let us give the family members an opportunity to talk to us. I’d like to assure you, all of you, that no efforts will be spared. Every conceivable help, assistance, and action that is required of government will be taken. We will support, and we will ensure that we are with you not only today but through this difficult path ahead,” he expressed.

As they await the full report from the preliminary investigation of the fire, counselling and psychological support services are being provided to those who are struggling to cope.

“We have already made arrangements for those who are discharged to be accommodated with their parents. We are trying to see how we can get the necessary expertise from around the Caribbean region, to come in as quickly as possible to support us in the identification of our children. This is beyond a tragedy. It is very difficult for us all,” President Ali said.

President Ali engaging residents in Mahdia on Monday

He committed to ensuring that medical teams are available throughout the period.

The president has been on the ground since the report of the incident, first spearheading the operations at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, where an operations centre was set up, before journeying to the town.

The ministerial team, led by Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips and comprising Minister of Education Priya Manickchand and Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn were on the ground since earlier on Monday.