Juvies lucky to survive prison fire - dept

2014-10-27 05:00

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50+ injured in prison fire

2013-01-08 08:41

At least nine warders and 50 prisoners were injured when inmates torched a section of the Groenpunt prison in the Free State.WATCH

Johannesburg - It was fortunate only one prisoner was killed in a fire at the Barberton juvenile prison, the correctional services department said on Sunday.

"We have just visited the cell and after observing the damages, we are fortunate that the effect has been limited to one death, one serious injury and a few minor injuries," chief deputy commissioner for incarceration and corrections James Smalberger said in a statement.

On Saturday around 19:00, 19 inmates set the mattresses and linen in their cell alight. One prisoner died on the scene.

"The department has sent a delegation including a social worker to inform his family," Smalberger said.

A second prisoner sustained third-degree burns and was taken to Rob Ferreira Hospital in Nelspruit.

Smalberger condemned the burning of mattresses and linen in cells.

Police began their investigation on Saturday night, while a department team, from outside the Barberton management area, would begin its probe on Monday morning.

The department would ensure the fire did not impact negatively on prisoners writing matric exams.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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