Near Jakarta, Indonesia: At least 40 dead in prison fire

Status: 08.09.2021 11:21 a.m.

At least 40 people were killed in a fire in an Indonesian prison. The reason was probably a short circuit in the outdated electrical system. The correctional facility was also completely overcrowded.

More than 40 prisoners were killed in a fire in Tangerang prison near the Indonesian capital Jakarta. According to the authorities, two of them are foreigners. Eight other people suffered severe burns.

TV recordings showed how meter-high flames blazed around the watchtower in a large area. The cause of the fire could be a short circuit in the electrical system. Indonesia’s Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly said that the penal facility, which was built in 1972, has never had the electrical systems replaced.

Victims of the fire in the Tangerang prison in Indonesia. The correctional facility was completely overcrowded.

Image: dpa

Jail overcrowded

The fire, which has since been brought under control, destroyed a block of the prison, which housed 122 mostly drug-addicted prisoners. The wing was actually only for 40 people and therefore completely overcrowded, it said. Like many other prisons in the Southeast Asian island nation, the prison in Tangerang is chronically overcrowded. According to the Ministry of Justice, more than 2,000 convicts recently served their sentences there, although the building was built for a maximum of 600 prisoners.

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