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Burundi prison fire kills at least 38

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Authorities evacuated the wounded to hospital after the fire

At least 38 people have died and scores more have been injured in a fire which tore through a prison in Burundi.

Vice-President Prosper Bazombanza told reporters the blaze hit an overcrowded facility in the capital Gitega, with at least 69 people seriously injured.

Images circulating online show a building engulfed in flames and piles of bodies, said to be of inmates in the jail.

“It is really catastrophic,” one inmate told the BBC over the phone.

“I’d say almost 90% of sleeping halls are burnt.”

A journalist outside the prison told the BBC that nurses from Gitega hospital have entered the prison to help the victims, saying they are taking out the dead and wounded.

The blaze started at around 04:00 local time (02:00 GMT).

Witnesses told AFP the fire has now been brought under control.

With capacity for 400 prisoners, Gitega prison held 1,539 inmates as of last month, according to the Christian Association Against Torture (ACAT-Burundi).

A tweet posted by Burundi’s interior ministry said a short circuit was to blame for the fire.

Credit: bbc.com

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