Timeline of the event of Georgetown Prison Fire and Riot

DPI, GUYANA, Monday, July 10, 2017

  • 16:45- The Director of Prison, Gladwyn Samuels, is informed of disturbance at Georgetown Prison.
  • Samuels is informed that an officer is being held hostage and that there are sounds of gunshots within the prison
  • Two locations of the prison are set ablaze simultaneously; the Strong Cell Division and the Wooden Prison/Condemn Division
  • A total of five prisoners are observed leaving the prison.
  • The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are activated. The various Joint-Services are contacted and respond.
  • Eight (8) persons from the prison are transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) receive medical attention at, seven (7) of whom are Prison Officers
  • The Guyana Fire Service arrives on scene with two (2) fire tenders, but the fires quickly spread to other parts of the prison compound
  • With the assistance of the other agencies, the Prison Officials activated the emergency evacuation procedure as fires spread.
  • Guyana Fire Service dispatches more fire tenders to the scene
  • Groups of prisoners are brought out from inside the prison. Some are placed to sit on Camp Street and others inside the Prison Officer Club.
  • 18:35 hrs- Several prisoners, being held in the Prison Officers Club, set fire to the building. The burning building is evacuated Prisoners are moved on to the roadway at the corners of Camp and Bent Streets.
  • Security Forces expand cordons around scene.
  • Guyana Water Inc. disconnects water supplies to some parts of Georgetown to increase water pressure around Georgetown Prisons to assist in fire fighting efforts.
  • Security officials begin transporting prisoners to the Lusignan Prison on the East Coast of Demerara via trucks, and buses.
  • Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence arrives at the GPHC, activate emergency procedures, and updates media on persons admitted and extent of injuries. Public reassured that all measures are in place to deal with mass casualties if necessary
  • 20:00hrs-President David Granger convenes National Security meeting
  • Prison Officer Odinga Wickham succumbs from his injuries. Other wounded prison officers being treated for gunshot wounds and lacerations.
  • Guyana Fire Service cancels all rotations and leave for staff. All instructed to report to their stations.
  • All of the wooden buildings in the Georgetown Prison Complex are destroyed
  • 22:45-Two press conferences are held at the National Communications Network. They are conducted by Fire Chief Marlon Gentle, Chief Prison Officer ag. Gladwin Samuels, Guyana Police Force Commisioner Seelall Persaud and Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff Col ag. Nazrul Hussain. The second is conducted by Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.
  • The mastermind of the unrest is identified as Bartica and Lusignan massacre convict Mark Royden Durant aka Royden Williams and Smallie; and Uree Varswyck. The other three have not been identified as yet.
  • The joint services operation continues effort to recapture the escaped prisoners.
  • Members of the public are advised to take all necessary precautions as they go about their activities. Report any suspicious activities to the nearest police station.
  • 01:50-Remanded murder accused Shawn Collins, 20, of lot 6 Ketley and Drydales Streets who escaped whilst being transported with other prisoners to another location is recaptured on Hadfield Street. He was not among the five original escapees.
  • Initial walk through inspection of the GT prisons conducted by security officials, no bodies discovered so far
  • Roll calls are conducted at Lusignan Prison to identify and account for those in custody
  • National Security meeting set for 12:00hrs July 10, 2017, at Camp Ayanganna
  • More updates to follow.