Hundreds of prisoners are reported dead after a fire broke out late Tuesday night in a prison in Comayagua, north of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, central America. Of the 853 inmates, 300 are confirmed dead and 56 are missing, presumed dead. Many of the victims died through smoke inhalation.
A tragedy has descended on Comayagua, where to compound the problems, the police clashed with the families of the prisoners as they desperately tried to break into the complex to save their loved ones. Shots were fired into the air and tear gas was fired at the bereaved wives, mothers, susters, brothers and fathers of the prisoners.
As a full investigation has been called for by the Honduras President, the hypotheses aired on the ground are a short-circuit or a prisoner setting fire to his mattress. Meanwhile the country's prison authorities have been suspended.
Many prisoners were carbonised in their cells, others screamed as they were engulfed in flames locked into their cells. The fire service could only watch as they were burnt to ash, because the guards who had the keys were nowhere to be seen.
In May 2010, 107 prople died in a prison fire at San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The cause was an electrical fault.
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