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Prison fire outburst kills 44 prisoners in Indonesia

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The death toll from a fire at an overcrowded prison outside Indonesia’s capital has risen to 44, an official said on Thursday, after three inmates who suffered severe burns died overnight.

This is according to Rika Apriyanti, spokeswoman for the corrections department.

Prison fire outburst kills kills 44 prisoners in Indonesia

Prison fire outburst kills 44 prisoners in Indonesia

The blaze in the early hours of Wednesday razed a block at the Tangerang prison in Banten province which held mostly inmates convicted of offenses.

“Three more people died while being treated in the Tangerang General Hospital,” said Rika.

Among those killed in the blaze were two foreigners – one each from Portugal and South Africa – who were serving sentences for offenses, Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly said on Wednesday.



He said an electrical short circuit may have sparked the fire.

Like most correctional facilities in Indonesia, the Tangerang prison is chronically overcrowded.

It holds more than 2,000 inmates, even though it was designed for a total of 600, according to the Justice Ministry.

Critics say overcrowding at Indonesian prisons has been caused by Indonesia’s aggressive war on drugs.

Most of the more than 28,000 drug convicts across Indonesian prisons are drug users who should not have been imprisoned in the first place, the Institute of Criminal Justice Reform, a non-governmental organization, said on Wednesday.

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