17 Feb 2012

Fatal prison fire was world's worst

10:10 am on 17 February 2012

The fire at a prison in Honduras on Tuesday night is now thought to be the world's worst prison fire in a century.

A death toll of 355 inmates has been confirmed. Most were burned alive or asphyxiated in their locked cells at the National Prison in Comayagua.

Lorries have taken the bodies to a mortuary in the capital, Tegucigalpa, about 80km away.

The BBC reports 115 corpses were taken to the capital on Wednesday night and a further 238 on Thursday morning. Two prisoners died in hospital.

AFP reports the coffins were donated by relatives of the dead.

The government has promised a full investigation into the tragedy. It says the entire prison system needs reform.

But the BBC says similar promises were made in 2004 when a fire at a prison in San Pedro Sula left 107 inmates dead.