News The African Way

Fire Outbreak in Venezuela prison kills 17 people

A fire outbreak at Venezuela’s central Tocuyito prison has left 17 people dead and 11 others wounded at the early hours of Monday in the state of Carabobo.

According to reports, eight women and nine men were killed by the fire at the prison, which were authorized to spend the night at the detention facility under a family visit program.

The state prosecutor in a statement said, the cause of the fire was being investigated but there was no immediate indication of how it started.

Director of Prison Rights Group, Window to Freedom, Carlos Nieto said inmates told him an electrical fault had caused the fire; adding that, it could be cause as a result of negligence by authorities in not having satisfactory prison conditions.

The Tocuyito Prison authorities as at the time of filing this report did not respond to any comment.

Tocuyito Prisons in Venezuela is reported to be overcrowded, holding more than 3,000 inmates even though they are designed to accommodate nearly 900 people.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan Prisons Monitor, a Non Governmental Group, claimed that 309 inmates were killed in the country’s prisons last year. It added that another 179 were injured in prisons that are allegedly at 170 percent capacity

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