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Fire breaks out at Jail in Indonesia, kills 41 drug inmates : What you need to know

Picture courtesy: BBC

A massive fire raged through an overcrowded prison near Indonesia's capital early Wednesday, killing at least 41 inmates and injuring 39 others.

122 inmates were staying in the worst-affected Block C - far more than the 40-person capacity. The fire's victims included an inmate involved in terrorism cases and another involved in a murder, while the rest had been imprisoned for drug-related offences. Two foreign victims, inmates from Portugal and South Africa, are among the dead. Eight people were seriously injured and dozens more had minor injuries.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire that started at Block C of Tangerang prison designated for drug offenders. But the Jakarta police said they suspected that it had been caused by a short-circuit in the prison's electrical system.

Mr. Laoly , the minister of law and human rights, said that the head of security immediately called the fire department and 12 fire trucks arrived within 13 minutes.

He also informed that because the cells were locked, some prisoners were unable to escape and 40 died on the spot which one died on the way to the hospital. Prison staff members managed to unlock some cells and 75 people were evacuated.

Jailbreaks and riots that led to fire are common in Indonesia, where overcrowding has become a problem in prisons that are struggling with poor funding and large numbers of people arrested in a war on illegal drugs.

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