UPDATE 2:51 P.M. EST
CNN is reporting that the death toll has risen to over 300 and may continue to rise as more information becomes available. The over-crowded prison allegedly house over 800 inmates when it was built to hold approximately 400.
Moreover the fire broke out when prisoners were asleep and the over-crowding coupled with guards reportedly missing, unable to help fire-fighters find keys to cells, contributed to the high death count.
The fire is said to be the worse in a century and reports say inmates, trapped, screamed in agony as the blaze raged through 5 units, half of the penitentiary. Family are distraught and angry at what happened for they feel it could have been prevented if conditions in the prison were better.
Over 356 prisoners including one woman who slept over in the prison, are missing, presumed dead, while 475 managed to escaped.
Scroll down for my earlier report or click on the above video for more.
Up to 272 were killed in a Honduras prison fire on Wednesday reports CNN. The deadly blaze swept through Tegucigalpa in the country's Central region around 12:00 A.M. EST, (11:00 P.M Tuesday local time) and more than half of the prison units were affected.
35 prisoners were reportedly transported to area hospitals, and investigators are still looking into what caused the deadly fire. The Prison Commissioner speculates that it could have been an electrical spark or a prisoner setting his mattress ablaze.
This deadly fire is said to be the third in recent years. In 2004, 107 prisoners reportedly died in a San Pedro Sula prison fire and the death toll was 61 one year earlier from a fire at La Ceiba prison.
The Extremely poor conditions in Honduras prison has been a concern of the U.S. State Department and its reports last April reportedly documented the rampant "malnutrition, unsanitary conditions and severe overcrowding" which existed.
There was also an alleged climate of violence for the lax security allowed prisoners to readily get drugs and weapons, which in turn breathed chaos in units. Non-violent prisoners were at the mercy of violent criminals for there was no separation of inmates and guards plus families visiting were also at risk.
As of 2010. there were a reported 12,000 prisoners total in the country's penitentiaries, 400 of whom are women.
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