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81 dead in Chile prison fire

A fire at a prison in the Chilean capital of Santiago killed 81 inmates today, officials said. The accident occurred at the prison of San Miguel, which officially has room for 700 inmates, but houses 1,900.

world Updated: Dec 08, 2010 18:18 IST

A fire at a prison in the Chilean capital of Santiago killed 81 inmates on Wednesday, officials said. The accident occurred at the prison of San Miguel, which officially has room for 700 inmates, but houses 1,900.

"Police did not allow firefighters to enter immediately," a witness said outside the penitentiary, from where 200 prisoners were evacuated.

Family members of inmates surrounded the prison, desperate for news on who had been killed or injured. "Please do not leave us like this," a woman named Maria pleaded.