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Prison fire in Chile kills over 80 inmates

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Prison fire in Chile kills over 80 inmates


Police in Chile have identified the 80 or so prisoners killed in a major fire in a Santiago jail.

Relatives had gathered outside the prison gates waiting for news. For many, the trauma was compounded by seeing inmates wave their hands from windows during the blaze, calling for help.

Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera has promised an investigation.

“This has been a huge and painful tragedy and the first thing that I want to do is to show my solidarity with those who have lost their lives and their families,” he said.

The fire is thought to have been started after a riot yesterday morning. Inside the prison were nearly 2,000 inmates, that is twice its official capacity. Overcrowding and too few staff may have been contributory factors.

Some survivors were brought out suffering from smoke inhalation. Others were not so lucky.

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