- Title: HONDURAS: Fire at jail kills 102 prisoners
- Date: 19th May 2004
- Summary: (W6) SAN PEDRO SULA, HONDURAS (MAY 17, 2004)(REUTERS) SLV PAN DEAD BODIES ON GROUND (3 SHOTS) MV PRISON GUARDS, OFFICIALS LOOKING AT BODIES MORE BODIES ON THE GROUND
- Embargoed: 3rd June 2004 13:00
- Location: SAN PEDRO SULA, HONDURAS
- Country: Honduras
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVAB3TLTUYLDJMUYIPPAQ3KN1NN6
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: A huge fire at a jail in northern Honduras killed 102 prisoners, all of them members of a violent street gang the "Mara Salvatrucha."
A huge fire at a jail in northern Honduras killed 102 prisoners on Monday (May 17), all of them members of a violent street gang the government is trying to break up.
Police said the early morning fire at the prison in the northern city of San Pedro Sula followed an explosion that was apparently caused by a short circuit.
Most of the victims died from suffocation but some were burned, and another 27 were taken to the hospital with burns.
All of the dead were members of the "Mara Salvatrucha," one of two dominant street gangs that operate in Honduras and have been the target of a major crackdown by security forces in recent months.
More than 1,000 suspected gang members have been arrested and sent to jail in the sweep that started last August.
One of the gang members who survived the fire said guards at the prison were extremely slow to help the inmates.
The Mara Salvatrucha gang members were housed together in the area of the prison where the fire broke out.
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