Bloomberg News

Honduras Fire Kills at Least 350 Inmates Trapped in Jail

February 17, 2012

(Updates number of dead in first paragraph.)

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- At least 350 inmates died in a fire that swept through a prison in central Honduras late yesterday, the Security Ministry said in a statement.

About 500 prisoners at the prison in Comayagua, near San Pedro Sula, an industrial hub 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of the capital, survived the blaze, the ministry said.

Riot police surrounded the prison today as relatives of convicts gathered outside, some throwing stones at the police, images broadcast by Honduran television showed.

Hundreds of prisoners were trapped after the building was “completely engulfed in flames” that took more than six hours to put out, Josue Garcia, a spokesman for the Comayagua fire department, said in a phone interview today. Some survivors climbed onto roofs and others ran into the prison yard to escape the blaze, he said.

The fire may have broken out during a riot by inmates, Garcia said, though investigations to determine the cause are continuing.

--Editors: Richard Jarvie, Robert Jameson

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Sabo in Panama City at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at

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