Indonesia prison fire kills 41 inmates, 80 hospitalized


JAKARTA, Indonesia — A massive fire raged through an overcrowded prison near Indonesia’s capital early Wednesday, killing at least 41 inmates and injuring 80 others.

The fires had been extinguished for about two hours and hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed around the prison to prevent prisoners from escaping, Jakarta Police Chief Fadil Imran told reporters near the scene.

Televised footage showed firefighters battling to extinguish orange flames while black smoke billowed from the compound. Dozens of bodies in orange bags were laid in a room of Tangerang prison on the outskirts of Jakarta.

“The situation is now under control,” Imran said, adding that at least 41 inmates were killed and 80 are hospitalized, eight of them with severe burns.

Authorities are still investigating the cause but the preliminary investigation pointed to a short circuit in one of the block’s cell, Imran said.

Police and hospital officials store body bags of dead victims at a morgue in a local general hospital in Tangerang.
Police and hospital officials store body bags of dead victims at a morgue in a local general hospital in Tangerang.
AFP via Getty Images
More of the 41 victims killed in the Indonesian prison fire.
More of the 41 victims killed in the Indonesian prison fire.
REUTERS
A police vehicle is seen outside Tangerang Hospital, where the remains of people killed in a fire at Tangerang Prison are kept.
A police vehicle is seen outside Tangerang Hospital, where the remains of people killed in a fire at Tangerang Prison are kept.
REUTERS

Tangerang prison was designed to house 1,225 inmates but has more than 2,000, said Rika Aprianti, spokesperson for the corrections department at the Justice Ministry. Block C, where the fire occurred, was stuffed full of 122 convicts.

She said 15 prison officers guarding the area were unhurt.

Jailbreaks and riots that led to fire are common in Indonesia, where overcrowding has become a problem in prisons that are struggling with poor funding and large numbers of people arrested in a war on illegal drugs.

Police officers
Police and soldiers were deployed around the prison to assure there were no inmates looking to escape during the fire extinguishing.
AP
Officers
Officers guard an entrance at the prison, as authorities think a possible short circuit in one of the block’s cell could’ve caused the fire.
AP



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