Jakarta: One prisoner who was a terrorist and two other prisoners from South Africa and Portugal were among the 41 inmates killed a prison fire in Tanggerang town near Indonesian capital Jakarta Wednesday, a government official said.
Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly said that 40 prisoners were killed instantly in the fire that broke out in prison Block C2 at 1.45 a.m. local time while another one died on the way to a hospital, Xinhua news agency reported.
There are several rooms in the block, the minister said, adding that during the night the cells were locked according to official procedure.
After the fire broke out, officials in charge tried to open the rooms but they were not able to open all of them due to the raging flames, Laoly added.
He said that 81 prisoners were rescued but many of them suffered burn injuries.
Laoly admitted that the prison was over capacity by 400 percent with a total number of 2,072 inmates.
Rika Aprianti, a spokeswoman for the prison department in the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said that the Block C2 prison was overcrowded as the venue, which was designed for 40 prisoners, accommodated 122 inmates.
Laoly said that initial investigations suggested that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit, but the police will further probe the cause of the fire.