Fire kills 68 people at Venezuelan prison (UPDATED)
08:30 (GMT+4) A fire at the Venezuelan prison in the northern state of Carabobo killed 68 people overnight, including two female visitors, the chief prosecutor said Wednesday, Sputnik reported.
Attorney General Tarek Saab appointed four prosecutors to investigate the tragedy, which caused suffering to dozens of families.
"The result of preliminary inquiries suggests that 66 men and two female visitors have died," Saab said on Twitter.
Earlier, local media suggested that the alleged cause of the blaze was riot attempt. Venezuelan prisons are reportedly extremely overcrowded and filled with weapons. Riots leaving dozens dead are not unusual.
In August, clashes between rioting prisoners and security forces reportedly killed 37 inmates in the southern Venezuelan state of Amazonas,
In 2016, the explosion occurred on the visiting day in jail of San Juan de los Morros, in Guarico State. At least one person was killed and 22 others were injured.
06:45 (GMT+4) A fire at a police station in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, in Carabobo State, has killed at least five prisoners in holding cells, BBC News reported.
However, some reports suggest that dozens of detainees could have died from smoke inhalation.
The blaze started after prisoners set fire to mattresses in an attempt to break out.
Police used tear gas to disperse relatives who had surrounded the station and were trying to break in.
Carlos Nieto, head of the association Una Ventana a la Libertad (A Window on Freedom), said dozens of detainees had died, AFP news agency reports.
Unofficial death estimates in the media range from 60 to 78.