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Fire kills dozens after fight at Chile prison

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Fire kills dozens after fight at Chile prison


A fire at a jail near the Chilean capital Santiago has killed 81 inmates and injured many more, according to the authorities.

Reports say the fire at the San Miguel jail to the south of the city followed a fight between prisoners. It began around dawn, with inmates setting fire to mattresses.

Some of those injured have serious burns. Some 200 people were evacuated into a jail yard.

Dozens of volunteer firefighters worked alongside specialist teams, as frantic family members gathered at the gates.

Local reports say that prison guards initially prevented firefighters from entering, and that the jail was overcrowded with more than double the number of inmates it was designed for.

Chile’s health minister has described it as the prison industry’s most deadly tragedy.

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