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Venezuela prison blaze kills 17, injures 11

1 September 2015 12:04

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A fire at a northern Venezuelan prison facility has reportedly left 17 people dead and 11 others wounded, local media reports say.

The deadly blaze, which started in the early hours of Monday at Tocuyito prison in the state of Carabobo, was apparently caused by an electrical short-circuit, said a report by the Globovision TV channel.

However, there has been no immediate official confirmation of the incident.

Initial reports on the fire said that those killed included eight women that were authorized to spend the night at the detention facility under a family visit program.

Citing figures allegedly published by non-governmental organizations in the Latin American nation, the report further stated that Tocuyito prison currently holds more than 3,000 inmates despite being designed to accommodate nearly 900 people.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan Prisons Monitor, a non-governmental group, claimed that 309 inmates were killed in the country’s prisons last year. It added that another 179 were injured in prisons that are allegedly at 170 percent capacity.

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