Fire in Mexico City’s prison: 3 killed, 7 injured

The fire took place on Thursday morning in the men’s prison “Reclusorio Oriente” in eastern Mexico City; the cause of the fire is still being investigated

Fire in Mexico City’s prison: 3 killed, 7 injured
The fire took place in the Sleeping Area 2 - Photo: Guillermo Arias/AP Photo
English 16/08/2019 13:13 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Rebekah F. Ward &Jonathan Otis/REUTERS & David Fuentes & Eduardo Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 13:30
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A fire at the prison “Reclusorio Preventivo Varonil Oriente” in eastern Mexico City on Thursday morning killed at least three men and injured seven others, the city government said in a statement.

Officials were still working to determine the cause of the fire, which was detected in the Sleeping Area No. 2 at the prison in the Iztapalapa neighborhood at 5:25 a.m. local time, the statement said.

The three inmates killed in the fire were identified as Luis Enrique Tejeda, Mauricio Espíndola and Carlos Enrique Pérez, officials said. The seven injured, of whom two had second-degree burns, were taken to hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation; they were identified as Iván Urquiza Córdoba, Octavio López Álvarez, Francisco Javier Méndez Hernández, Héctor Albert Chango Mendoza, Vicente Padilla Cedeño, Fernando Alberto Galicia Ayala, and Alfredo Maya Ortiz.

The attorney general’s office was investigating the incident, a spokeswoman for the city’s penitentiary system said.

About the incident, the assistant secretary of the prison system, Hazael Ruiz, clarified that the fire was not related at all with any violent act, riot, or escape attempt.

It was preliminarily said that the three inmates died because of the inhalation of carbon monoxide, for they were near the fire for more than half an hour without any authority working in the suffocation of the flames. Forensic research, as well as the local Commission for Human Rights, will look to determine if the guardians or the members of Civil Protection of the prison system made any mistake.

The Sleeping Area 2, where the fire took place, is considered the VIP area of Reclusorio Oriente, destined only for those inmates who can pay to stay there.

Even though the incident happened on family visit day, the agency said that the activities within the prison took place normally. The agency highlighted that they have already made contact with the relatives of the deceased and the injured to make the necessary arrangements and help them as needed. The prison system said that it will help the families with funeral expenses and that the insurance company will bear the medical and funerary costs, as well as the rehabilitation of the building.


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