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Hundreds killed in prison fire


CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Hundreds killed in prison fire

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A massive fire has swept through a jail in Honduras, killing at least 300 prisoners, officials say.
Many victims were burned or suffocated to death in their cells at the jail in Comayagua, in central Honduras.
The officials say at least 300 are confirmed dead, but a further 56 inmates, out of the 853 in the prison, are missing and presumed dead.
An inquiry is under way whether the blaze was caused by rioting or an electrical fault.
Relatives of suspected victims later tried to force their way into the prison, desperate for news.
Police responded by firing shots into the air and tear gas.
The fire broke out late last night and took more than an hour to be brought under control.
Dozens of prisoners died trapped in their cells and were burned beyond recognition.
Comayagua firefighters’ spokesman Josue Garcia said there were “hellish” scenes at the prison and that desperate inmates had rioted in a bid to escape the flames.
“We couldn’t get them out because we didn’t have the keys and couldn’t find the guards who had them,” he said. (BBC)

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