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Seven Convicts ‘Burn To Death’ In Jail Riot

October 24th, 2009

jail cellAt least seven convicts are thought to have burned to death during a prison riot in Brazil.

Five prisoners died inside the jail in the north-eastern town of Joao Pessoa and two died on their way to hospital.

Another 48 prisoners suffered injuries and burns during the riot, sparked by the authorities’ attempts to remove an inmate belonging to one of the prison’s gangs.

The blaze started when prisoners in one wing set fire to their mattresses. Flames spread rapidly through the prison, which holds 850 convicts.

Firefighters and armed police broke down cell walls to reach those trapped inside, but not before several men had already lost their lives.

A military police spokesman said. “There was a prisoners’ rebellion protesting against the transfer to a high security prison of one of the inmates.

“They attacked their enemies and set fire to the place.”

Brazil is known for its overcrowded prisons and organised crime gangs operating within them.

The country has seen several mass prison riots in recent years, which have been attributed to both the poor conditions and the gangs.

In 1992 more than 100 inmates died during a revolt at the Carandiru jail in Sao Paulo.

Emma Rowley

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