Huge fire in Chilean jail kills 81; 21 injured

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

San Miguel prison during the fire.
Image: Twitter user rortizd, via Twitpic.

A huge fire at a Chilean prison in San Miguel has killed at least 81 inmates, and injured another 14, including a firefighter and three gendarmerie officers, the Chilean Health Minister Jaime Mañalich reported. Mañalich said that the injured inmates suffered "[...] facial burns, and are currently intubated with mechanical ventilation in different hospitals."

Pedro Hernández, representing the Chilean gendarmerie officers union said that "they are trying to identify the 81 dead inmates now." President Sebastián Piñera went to the Santiago's Central Post where five inmates are being attended. During a press conference, Piñera announced the creation of new jails with more facilities for the inmates. Piñera also confirmed that 83 inmates had died, and that another 21 were injured, 7 of them due to minor asphyxiation.

The fire is considered the worst accident in the country's jail history. Fifteen corpses have been identified, Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter reported.

A football match between Unión Española and Club de Fútbol Universidad de Chile was canceled by ANFP (Professional Football National Association) after the fire. It was going to take place today at 16:00 local time (19:00 UTC) in the Estadio Santa Laura.


Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter's notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.
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