World Bulletin / News Desk
Eight prisoners died Monday of asphyxiation after inhaling smoke during a fire at the Enio Pinheiro dos Santos´s Penitentiary in Porto Velho, the capital of the Rondonia state on the northwest border with Bolivia, the Secretary of Justice Marcos Rocha confirmed, according to the G1 newspaper.
"The confusion began in the early morning when two rival groups began fighting. They burned mattresses and other objects in front of a closed cell of eight prisoners," prison director Jobson Bandeiras told local media.
In a separate riot Sunday, 10 prisoners were beheaded or torched in the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima on the northern border with Venezuela, Rocha added.
Two others were in critical condition at a nearby hospital late Monday, according to media reports.
The Boa Vista jail houses 1,400 inmates. The riot reportedly occurred at a time when families, mostly women, were visiting relatives, resulting in hundreds being held hostage by inmates before law enforcement intervened.