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article imagePrisoners steal keys and riot at French prison

By AFP     Sep 12, 2016 in World

Dozens of inmates at a prison in central France escaped and rioted on Monday after stealing the keys of a warden, prison sources said.

"Two prisoners jostled a guard and managed to steal his keys, which allowed them to open all the cells," union official Emmanuel Giraud told AFP.

The inmates of the Vivonne prison in the centre-west town of Poitiers then set fire to one of the prison buildings and "broke everything," added Giraud, who was unable to say whether they had any specific grievances or claims.

A source at the prison said that some 60 prisoners later refused to return to their cells. Six inmates remained unaccounted for.

The flames, which spread through one floor of the three-storey building were later put out by firefighters.

Nobody was injured and no hostages were taken, said a statement from the justice ministry which said the unrest broke out at 1500 GMT. Order was restored five hours later, it said.

The Vivonne prison is an ultra-modern facility, built in 2009 with a capacity for 578 inmates.

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