More than 350 prisoners die at fire in Honduras jail

Posted Feb 15, 2012 by Igor I. Solar
At least 350 people died in a fire at a jail in Honduras; the blaze started before midnight Tuesday and by 6 a.m. today more than 200 bodies have been recovered and about 60 injured taken to hospital.
Entrance to the prison of Comayagua in Honduras. The sign reads:  Justice be made though the world p...
Entrance to the prison of Comayagua in Honduras. The sign reads: "Justice be made though the world perish" (Screengrab La Prensa, Honduras)
La Prensa
So far the origin of the fire is unknown but some versions attribute its cause to a possible mutiny that would have started at 10:50 at night while other assumptions indicate a possible plot to kill two prisoners. Some Honduran media have mentioned an electrical malfunction as the possible cause of the blaze.
Lucy Marder, national director of Forensic Medicine in Honduras, said the death toll was a preliminary report but it could reach as many as 350 according to local media reports. The identification of the dead prisoners could take several days.
The detention center has a capacity of 400 prisoners, but at the time of the fire it had a population of about 930 prisoners; about 500 inmates are under control in a safe place, about 60 were taken to hospital with various injures and a yet undetermined numbers of prisoners escaped.
The prison is in the city of Comayagua, about 75 kilometers north of Tegucigalpa, Honduras’ capital.
This is a developing story and the death toll may vary as bodies are recovered from the burned building. The cause of the fire is also in doubt and under investigation.