Monday, June 21, 2010

Burning rage

The remains of the dormitory that was built on high posts. Only the iron roof and metal beds and lockers did not go up in smoke.-Nationalpic by AURI EVA

Involvement by cult group claim probed

By WALLACE KIALA in The National

CLASSES at the Mainohana Catholic Secondary School in Central’s Bereina were suspended last Friday after a male dormitory was razed by arsonists last Wednesday night.
The dormitory houses 110 Grade 9 and 10 students.
The school has informed the police that more than 10 students, allegedly practising cult activities, were responsible for the arson.
Some names of students have been given to police who are investigating the claim.
The fire started about midnight when most of the students were asleep.
“Luckily for the students, they escaped unhurt,” deputy principal Sr Antoinette Ake told
The National last Friday.
Ake said the students, who had lost all their personal belongings, had to sit for the Grade 10 written expression examination last Thursday.
“While a handful managed to grab one or two bags and run to safety, most of them were left with only what they wore,” he said.
While the situation was tense at the school from last Thursday morning to Friday, Ake said Bereina police would be patrolling the school frequently in the next few weeks.
Central police criminal investigations division and forensic teams were at the school last Friday for investigations and would be working closely with the local Bereina police to nab the arsonists.
Deputy principal (administration) Poni Kila said the school was suspended for two weeks before the term break (term 2) to enable the school to prepare temporary accommodation for the students.
“The fire has not greatly affected the general operations of the school as help is already on its way from Australia where a team from the De La Salle brothers is coming to carry out maintenance to one or two unused buildings in the school to accommodate the students,” he said.
Central education officials also inspected the school last Thursday and conducted their own investigations.
The school is run by the De La Salle brothers and was established more than 60 years ago.

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