Chile prison fire kills 81 inmates

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
A still taken from video showing the San Miguel prison on fire in Santiago.

A still taken from video showing the San Miguel prison on fire in Santiago.

Chile prison fire kills at least 83
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Chilean officials say a prison fire set off during a riot killed at least 83 inmates today.

The country's Health Minister says 14 others were severely burned and a firefighter and three guards had lesser injuries.

The national prison director says the blaze, which broke out early this morning at the San Miguel prison south of Santiago, burned out of control for three hours.

Hundreds of anxious relatives of inmates gathered outside the prison gates. Some told state television that prison police had closed the gates, making it difficult for firefighters to enter.

A police official insists that police acted quickly despite coping with the prison population of 1,900 inmates. The prison was built for 700.

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