Not less than 41 prisoners have been confirmed killed and eight injured, after a fire outbreak engulfed an overcrowded prison block on the outskirts of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, the police reports.
The fire, according to police spokesman Yusri Yunus, started in the early hours of Wednesday morning time in Block C of Tangerang Prison, in Banten province.
Yusri said firefighters did all they could to stop the fire from spreading to other blocks in the prison and battled the flames for two hours before it was extinguished.
He added that an investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing but said they initially suspect an electrical short circuit is to blame.
Rika Aprianti, spokeswoman of the prison Department of the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said authorities were still evacuating the facility and “the cause is under investigation.”
The block housed inmates being held for drug-related offenses and had a capacity for 122 people, but she did not say how many people were present when the fire broke out, but confirmed the jail was overcrowded.
The prison in Tangerang, an industrial and manufacturing hub near Jakarta, housed more than 2,000 inmates, far more than its 600 people capacity, according to government data as of September.
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