At least 68 people have died after fire swept through the cell area inside a police station in Venezuela.
The blaze is said to have followed a riot by detainees being held at the state police headquarters in Valencia, a town in Carabobo state about 100 miles west of Caracas.
Suspect escapes after vehicle is driven at soldiers in the French Alps The country’s chief prosecutor, Attorney General Tarek William Saab, said that nearly all the dead were prisoners.
He said two women who were staying overnight at the station were also killed, but did not provide any further details.
It was one of the worst jail disasters in a country where human rights groups complain about bad prison conditions. A fire at a prison in the western state of Zulia killed more than 100 inmates in 1994.
Local authorities in Valencia had confirmed earlier only that there were fatalities, and said they were working to determine an exact number. They said they were not providing any estimates ‘out of respect for the families’.
Angry relatives who gathered outside the station said dozens of detainees had been kept in squalid conditions at the station and expressed fear that their loved ones were dead.
Dozens of men and women demanding to know if their loved ones had survived clashed with police officers in riot gear. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
‘I don’t know if my son is dead or alive!’ cried Aida Parra, who said she last saw her son a day before, when she went to deliver him food. ‘They haven’t told me anything.’