Reports: 25 dead in Brazil prison fire

At least 25 prisoners died early Thursday after inmates broke out of a cellblock and set a fire in an apparent attempt to settle scores with a rival gang, police said.

Reports: 25 dead in Brazil prison fire

At least 25 prisoners died early Thursday after inmates broke out of a cellblock and set a fire in an apparent attempt to settle scores with a rival gang, police said.

The victims could not escape from their cellblock after the attackers set fire to mattresses at the lockup in the town of Ponte Nova in the south-central Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, said police Lt. Andre Amara Lopes, who provided the death toll.

A spokesman for Minas Gerais state did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment, and telephones to police rang busy.

Globo TV and the Estado de Minas newspaper reported that authorities put out the fire. The rest of the prisoners were rounded up

Prison conditions are often criticized as horrendous in Brazil, and gangs frequently rule the lockups. The Ponte Nova prison had capacity for 87 inmates, but 187 inmates were being kept there, Globo said.

Agencies

Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 00:14
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