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Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has given instructions to hastily relocate the inmates of the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre in Alexandra, St Ann, following last night’s (May 20) fire in which five girls were killed and thirteen others injured. The girls will be removed to the Stony Hill HEART Academy and buses are now being sent to Armadale to transport them to their new location. Ten girls who were injured and three with secondary degree burns have been moved to the Kingston Public Hospital.
Mr. Golding said a Commission of Enquiry will be ordered to determine exactly what took place. He said retired Court of Appeal President, Mr. Justice Paul Harrison has agreed to be the sole Commissioner and the Commission will begin working once the instruments have been signed by the Governor-General.
Meanwhile, Mr. Golding said security at the centre had been beefed up and additional correctional officers and the police were be put in place. Government will also be taking care of the funeral expenses.
Mr. Golding flew down to the Armadale centre this morning for a first hand view of the situation. He said efforts are being made to identify additional locations where the girls can be housed until repairs have been completed to the Montpellier Centre which is already underway. Two possible locations have been inspected and the Commissioner of Corrections is working with the relevant agencies to see how quickly arrangements can be finalised.
Having looked at the facility, Mr. Golding expressed grave concern about the safety of the girls there because this is not the first time that fire has been set to the facility. He said part of the building had been abandoned because of a previous fire and the girls were being housed in another section.
Accompanying Mr. Golding on the visit this morning was head of the Child Development Agency, Allison Anderson.

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