At least 16 killed in Guyana prison riot fire

2016-03-04 05:18
Flames rise from a Prison. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Flames rise from a Prison. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Georgetown - At least 16 prisoners died in a fire on Thursday as they protested overcrowding and other issues inside a prison in the capital of the South American country of Guyana, authorities said.

Inmates set two fires during a riot in the most secure section of Georgetown Prison as guards swept the lock-up and seized drugs, cell phones and other items, said Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan.

"We have a crisis on our hands," he said. "Long delays in trials have caused much frustration and vexation among prisoners."

The first fire was set late on Wednesday using mattresses and was extinguished with no injuries reported. The second fire was set Thursday around noon and led to the fatalities, officials said.

Ambulances were seen entering the facility's main gate, and authorities said at least eight prisoners were hospitalized for burns and smoke inhalation. Officials were seen carrying at least one prisoner by the feet and shoulders with burns on most of his body.

Hundreds of people lined up at the prison gates to take food to inmates and seek information about relatives inside.

The colonial-era prison holds nearly 1 000 prisoners even though it was built to hold about 450 inmates. Previous fires have been set at the prison in recent years to protest conditions, but none had caused fatalities.

Ramjattan said a prison in Guyana's interior will be prepared to ease overcrowding of prisons in Georgetown. It is unclear how soon inmates would be transferred.

He said a three-person committee will be created to investigate the fatal fire.

Read more on:    guyana

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.