Honduras Prison Fire "Century's Worst"

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – The latest death toll from the prison fire at the Comayagua prison in Honduras stands at 356, reports Spanish-language news site Univision.com.

The report notes that the bodies of those trapped in the fire have been taken to a morgue in the capital, Tegucigalp, where they await family to identify them.

The fire broke out early Wednesday and has been described by international media as the world’s worst involving a prison in over a century.

Of the 852 inmates in the prison, some 477 managed to escape the inferno, Univision reports. Another 20 were hospitalized. The direct cause of the fire is still being investigated, although officials have suggested that it could have been due to a faulty circuit or an inmate who allegedly tried to burn his mattress.

However, an article in the Associated Press describes conditions inside the prison as “decrepit and badly maintained, a grimy, suffocating place of overcrowded, dark barracks with single, hand-locked exits.” It goes on to note that Comayagua was one of the better prison facilities in the country, with most inmates serving time for “petty crimes.”