[QODLink]
Americas

Colombian prison fire leaves several dead

Prisoners reported to have ignited their mattresses after guards tried to break up fighting triggered by inspection.

Last updated: 28 Jan 2014 16:15
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

At least 10 people have been killed and dozens injured after a fire broke out in a prison in northern Colombia.

The fire began on Monday at the jail in the coastal city of Barranquilla after a fight between inmates following routine inspections for drugs and weapons, local media reports said.

Prisoners ignited their mattresses after guards launched tear gas in a bid to break up the fighting, according to RCN Radio.

As many as 42 injured inmates were taken to hospital near the overcrowded Modelo prison, according to local media.

The flames were brought under control in the early hours of Tuesday.

Four of the victims died of the burns at a hospital, while the other six fatalities occured inside the prison.

Prison officials had seized drugs, knives and mobile phones during a day of cell inspections, angering inmates and setting off a battle between gangs.

Semana magazine said the fighting began after an argument between two religious groups.

The prison, with an official capacity for about 400 inmates, houses about 1,200 inmates, RCN said.

167

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Great white activity off famous Bondi Beach had beach-goers scrambling out of the water, but experts say don't panic.
At least 25,000 displaced people have gathered on the northern border, with more on the way trying to escape attacks.
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.