27 Killed, Injured in Egyptian Prison Fire
|Monday, April 30,2007 17:06|
|By JAMES TRAUB|
A huge fire erupted yesterday at Wadi Al-Natrun prison, Cairo-Alex. desert road, specifically in wards of the desert 440 prison, claiming three deaths among prisoners and wounding 24 others with various degrees of burns; the injured were moved to hospital.
Interior Minister, Habib Al-Adli, was informed by Major General Samir Salam, the senior deputy minister for prisons sector, that a fire erupted due to a short circuit in a fan in the ceiling of a ward, killing 3 prisoners detained pending trial.
The dead persons are:
Reda Mohamed Abdul Khalek
Khaled Mohamed Rabie Suleiman
Mohamed Refaat Mahmoud
24 others were injured and were moved to Shibin Al Kawm hospital; the wounded included three in serious conditions: Mohamed Wagih Siddiq, Dakahlia, Abdul Ghani Hussein Mohamed, from Giza and Gaber Mohamed Othman from Monofiya; all of them are serving prison sentences over cases of drugs, killing, theft and cheques.
The Interior Ministry issued a statement in which it said that the fire erupted at 5.30AM on Friday morning; the prisoners were surprised with the fire and tried to put it down but they failed; prison administration immediately called 12 civil defense trucks to extinguish the fire and evacuate the wards under security measures.
The public prosecution and forensic lab were notified to know the cause of the fire.
The prisoners confirmed in front of the prosecution that the prison lacks any equipped ambulances and any equipment for extinguishing fire; this will be confirmed or denied by the forensic lab.
Sources in Wadi Al-Natrun prison confirmed that the fire that erupted on Friday at dawn, April, 27, 2007, in prison no. 440 that shelters criminals, and that it didn"t include any one of the 50 Muslim Brotherhood detainees held in prison no. 2.