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38 prisoners killed in a big fire in overcrowded Burundi prison

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Many of the facilities were destroyed, and there was an image of a pile of smoldering rubble, burnt in a burnt-out room, showing gray smoke rising into the sky.

Vice President Prospere Bazombanza, who visited the scene of the tragedy with several ministers, told reporters that 38 people were killed and 69 were seriously injured.

Of the dead, 26 were burned and 12 were suffocated, he said.

The flames broke out around 4 am local time, and cruel photos posted on social media showed a huge flame involving the prison and the body of a man lying on the floor.

“When we saw the flames so high, we began to scream that we would be burned at the stake, but police opened the door to our dormitory, saying,” This is the order we received. ” I refused to do so, “he told a prisoner AFP who had contacted him by phone.

“I don’t know how I escaped, but some prisoners were completely burned,” he said.

According to some sources, the prisoner was detained by an employee who was not on the premises and was trapped because he did not have the key to a particular part of the prison overnight.

The injured were transferred after a fire broke out in Gitega's central prison on December 7, 2021.

sauce: AFP

Naked escape

The Ministry of Home Affairs said on Twitter that the disaster was caused by an electrical short circuit in a prison almost 100 years ago.

According to police sources, the rescue team was late on the scene, with the first fire engine arriving two hours after the start of the fire, and another fire engine joining.

According to witnesses, the most severely burned victims were taken to hospitals, some were taken by police pickup trucks, and some were mildly burned and were treated on-site.

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“Some prisoners fled completely naked. Other prisoners wore only the clothes they were wearing at the time,” said one witness in the prison.

The fire was later extinguished, but much of the site was left in burnt ruins behind a stone wall marking the date of construction in 1926, when Burundi was a Belgian colony.

It was the second fire in prison in just a few months after another incident in August was also accused of electrical problems.

Bazon Banza talked about DIY “tampering” by prisoners who want to charge their cell phones or power small lights.

Cramped situation

In Burundi prisons, one of the poorest countries in the world, chronic overcrowding is a problem, and prisoners often complain about their cramped living conditions and food shortages.

Burundi’s third-largest Gitega prison held more than 1,500 prisoners as of the end of November, well above the designed capacity of 400, according to prison official statistics.

One witness said a fire broke out in the most populous part of the prison, which houses common criminals. There are three wings in a safe area for females, minors and political prisoners.

A total of 12,878 prisoners lived in accommodations designed for 4,294 people nationwide, despite the March presidential amnesty when 5,200 were released, according to November figures.

A prisoner told AFP, “I have been to AFP for up to three days without supplies from prison, and since June 2020, I have not been allowed to visit in the name of protecting us from COVID-19, so my family. Can’t help us. ” ..

38 prisoners killed in a big fire in overcrowded Burundi prison

Source link 38 prisoners killed in a big fire in overcrowded Burundi prison

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