Honduran officials are reporting a deadly fire at the Comayagua prison that resulted in at least 300 prisoners being killed in the overnight blaze, many suffocating and burning in their cells.
The prison is located some 90 miles north of the capital city of Tegucigalpa and houses 852 prisoners. Prison officials say some 356 prisoners remain unaccounted for and the death toll could substantially rise. Many prisoners were heard screaming and rioting to get out of their cells – at least 100 died burned to death inside their cells.
Local firemen could not find prison officials to get keys to the cells to free many of the inmates. The fire was either started by prisoners or an electrical short circuit late at night and took more than an hour to put out.
This Central American country has been plagued by overcrowding prisons and violence stemming from that fact.