Fire on overcrowded Indonesian prison kills at least 40 -official

JAKARTA, Sept 8 (Reuters) – A fire tore through an overcrowded block in An jail in Indonesian province of Banten in the early hours of Wednesday, at least 40 . kill people and dozens of wounded, a government spokeswoman and media reports said.

The fire, die broke out at 1 to 2 o’clock in the Tangerang Prison Block C was extinguished and the authorities were still busy met evacuating the facility, said Rika Aprianti, a spokeswoman of the prison department of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

“The cause under investigation,” she said.

The block houses prisoners die be held for drug-related offenses and had a capacity for 122 people, she said.

She didn’t say how a lot of people were present when the fire broke out, but confirmed the jail was overcrowded.

The prison in Tangerang, an industrial and manufacturing center in near Jakarta, housed more than 2,000 prisoners, far more then its 600 people capacity, according to government data as of September.

Compass TV showed images of firefighters trying to put out huge flames from above of An building. The broadcaster reported 41 people had died and 8 were seriously injured.

“The first suspicion is that this was because of an electrical short,” police spokesman Yusri Yunus told Metro TV, die quoted a police report stating that 73 people also had light injuries.

Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Stanley Widianto and Fransiska Nangoy Writing by Gayatri Suroyo Editing by Ed Davies

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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