Fire Breaks Out in Indonesian Prison, Kills Dozens

Fire Breaks Out in Indonesian Prison, Kills Dozens

( – By design, spending time in prison is, at best, an unpleasant experience. However, one doesn’t expect a short prison term to turn into a death sentence in an instant. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened to dozens of convicts serving time in an Indonesian penitentiary.

On Wednesday, September 8, a massive fire swept through an overcrowded prison near the nation’s capital city of Jakarta in the early morning hours. Indonesia’s Law and Human Rights Minister, Yasonna Laoly, said that the fire claimed the lives of at least 41 inmates and injured roughly 80 others.

The fire broke out at about 1:45 in the morning. Guards reportedly struggled to unlock the cells as the blaze raged throughout the prison, but they had to abandon those efforts as the fire swiftly took over the facility.

Officials later confirmed the prison housed about 2,000 inmates, far more than its intended maximum population of abound 1,200. Cell Block C, the source of the blaze, housed 122 convicts — 3 times its 40-person capacity.

Frightening television footage showed firefighters and rescue workers struggling for hours to extinguish the roaring blaze as huge plumes of black smoke rose from the prison.

Jakarta’s Chief of Police Fadil Imran told reporters a preliminary investigation indicated that one of the block’s cells experienced a short circuit, which seems to have caused the fire. He confirmed the investigation was ongoing.

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