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Honduras prison fire: inquiry ordered, prison officials suspended

A full investigation has been ordered into a devastating fire at a Honduran prison that killed more than 350 inmates.

Honduras prison fire 11Enlarge
A forensic technician who got intoxicated by the fumes (C) is helped by firefighters to leave the National Prison compound in Comayagua, Honduras, on February 15, 2012, where almost 300 prisioners were killed and scores injured when a fire overnight tore through the prison in central Honduras. The prison held around 850 prisoners. AFP PHOTO/ORLANDO SIERRA (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images) (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

A full investigation has been ordered into a devastating fire at a Honduran prison that killed more than 350 inmates, Agence France Presse reported.

More on GlobalPost: Honduras prison fire leaves more than 350 dead

The Honduran President, Porfirio Lobo, said he had suspended both national and local top prison officials for the duration of the investigation.

Those suspended include the corrections chief and those at the penitentiary.

The death toll is expected to rise as emergency crews in the central city of Comayagua continuing to recover the bodies of prisoners trapped in their cells.

Some prisoners were able to survive the blaze by sheltering in the prison's showers, or jumping from the rooftop, AFP reported.

More from GlobalPost: Honduras prison fire in pictures

It is understood that most of the victims died of smoke inhalation.

Authorities are looking to determine if the blaze in the prison, which was overcrowded, was started deliberately by an inmate or was caused by an electrical fault, the BBC reported.

Human Rights Watch called for Honduras’s prison system to be overhauled, blaming the tragedy on chronic overcrowding.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/120216/honduras-prison-fire-inquiry-ordered-prison-officials-suspended