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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Hearth at Overcrowded Indonesian Jail Kills 41, Authorities Suspect Electrical Fault

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A fireplace tore by an overcrowded Indonesian jail within the early hours of Wednesday when most inmates had been asleep, killing 41 individuals and injuring dozens of others, an official mentioned.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze — which was principally contained inside one block that housed prisoners jailed on drug costs — at round 3 am (2000 GMT Tuesday) and evacuated the victims.

Tv footage confirmed an enormous fireplace raging by the jail block with thick smoke billowing from the constructing. 

“Forty died on the scene and one died on his option to the hospital,” mentioned Yasonna Laoly, Indonesia’s justice minister, including that eight had been critically injured and 31 sustained minor accidents. 

Jakarta police chief Fadil Imran earlier instructed media that 72 had minor accidents.

Authorities had been nonetheless investigating the reason for the incident at Tangerang Penitentiary, simply outdoors the capital Jakarta, however suspected {an electrical} fault might have been accountable.

“Primarily based on early commentary, it’s suspected (the hearth) occurred due to a brief circuit,” Imran mentioned.

Laoly mentioned the jail’s electrical system had not been upgraded because it was constructed over 40 years in the past, in 1972. “The fireplace unfold shortly and there was no time to open some cells… When the guards came upon, the hearth had already unfold, and that’s the place we discovered the victims,” Laoly added.

He mentioned police had began figuring out victims however that DNA testing would in all probability be wanted for among the our bodies that had been onerous to recognise. 

Marlinah, who like many Indonesians goes by one identify, raced to the native hospital after officers known as her residence to say her youthful brother Muhammad Yusuf had died.

“I simply hope the process is just not sophisticated so I can deliver my brother’s physique residence for burial,” she mentioned, tearing up. 

Laoly confirmed that there have been two international nationals, a South African and a Portuguese, among the many useless, however didn’t elaborate on their convictions. 

He mentioned he was coordinating with Indonesia’s international ministry in addition to related embassies and consulates to organise repatriation or burial. 

Among the many useless, one was convicted on a terrorism cost, one for homicide and a number of others on drug costs.

“I want to convey deepest condolences to the victims’ households, I don’t need this to occur once more,” Laoly mentioned.


The penitentiary division’s web site confirmed the jail had simply over 2,000 inmates, greater than thrice as many prisoners than it was designed to carry.

The block the place the hearth broke out had a most capability of 40 prisoners however housed 120, penitentiary directorate common spokesperson Rika Aprianti instructed Metro TV.

Overcrowded, unsanitary circumstances are frequent in Indonesian prisons, which comprise about 270,000 inmates, and jailbreaks are frequent. 

In 2019, no less than 100 prisoners escaped from a jail in Riau province, Sumatra after a riot and fireplace broke out.

In April final 12 months, Indonesia launched about 29,000 inmates in a bid to cease Covid-19 from rampaging by a jail system recognized for its unsanitary circumstances.

Security measures are sometimes missing within the Southeast Asian nation of practically 270 million. In 2019, 30 individuals — together with a number of kids — had been killed when a matchstick manufacturing unit exploded in North Sumatra after a employee by chance dropped a lighter on some flammable supplies.

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