Screaming inmates burnt to death in cells

2012-02-15 17:49

kalahari.com

  • Honduras
    Discover tropical islands floating in the Caribbean Sea, bright green mountains overshadowed by... Now R139.00
    buy now
Tegucigalpa - Trapped inmates screamed from their cells as a fire swept through a Honduran prison, killing at least 350 inmates, authorities said on Wednesday.

Some 475 people escaped from the prison in the town of Comayagua and 356 are missing and presumed dead, said Hector Ivan Mejia, a spokesperson for the Honduras security ministry. He said 21 people had been injured.

Dozens were trapped behind bars as prison authorities tried to find the keys, officials said.

Outraged relatives of dead inmates tried to storm the gates of the prison to recover the remains of their loved ones, witnesses told The Associated Press. The crowds were driven back by police officers firing tear gas.

Channel 5 television showed dozens of inmates' relatives hurling rocks at officers.

"We want to see the body," said Juan Martinez, whose son was reported dead. "We'll be here until we get to do that."

Horrific scenes

Comayagua fire department spokesperson Josue Garcia said he saw "horrific" scenes while trying to put out the fire, saying inmates rioted in attempts to escape. He said "some 100 prisoners were burned to death or suffocated in their cells."

"We couldn't get them out because we didn't have the keys and couldn't find the guards who had them," Garcia said.

Officials are investigating whether the fire was triggered by rioting prisoners or by an electrical short circuit, said Danilo Orellana, head of the national prison system.

A prisoner identified as Silverio Aguilar told HRN Radio that someone started screaming, "Fire! fire!" and the prisoners called for help.

"For a while, nobody listened. But after a few minutes, which seemed like an eternity, a guard appeared with keys and let us out," he said.

Hundreds of relatives rushed to Santa Teresa Hospital in Comayagua state to learn the fate of their loved ones, said Leonel Silva, fire chief in Comayagua, a town 140km north of the Central American country's capital, Tegucigalpa.

Lucy Marder, chief of forensic medicine for the prosecutor's office, said 12 victims were treated there and nine more in the Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, bringing the total of injured to 21. "That's why we think the death toll will rise," she said.

Marder said it would take at least three months to identify victims, some burned beyond recognition, because DNA tests will be required.

President Porfirio Lobo declared an emergency in July 2010 in nine of the 24 prisons in Honduras. His security minister at the time called the prisons "universities of crime" that had been overwhelmed by overcrowding.


- AP
Read more on:    honduras
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
25 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Table View 11:34 AM
Road name: Koeberg Road Northbound

DELAYS between Racecourse Road and Blaauwberg Road due to roadworks

Brackenfell 11:14 AM
Road name: N1 Outbound

ROADWORKS - right lane closed before the R300 Highway

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.