• At least 68 died in fire at police station in Valencia, northern Venezuela
  • Pandemonium reportedly broke out after inmates set fire to mattresses in a bid to escape

At least 68 people died after a fire broke out through jail cells after prisoners rioted at Venezuelan police station.

The blaze reportedly started after prisoners set fire to mattresses in an attempt to break out on Wednesday. The blaze at the detention facility in Carabobo state is the latest in a series of deadly incidents in Venezuela’s overcrowded jails.

“In light of the terrible events that took place in the Carabobo state police headquarters, where 68 people died in a presumed fire, we have appointed four prosecutors to clarify these dramatic events,” chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab said on Twitter.

The circumstances surrounding the fire have not been officially confirmed but a report by the association Una Ventana a la Libertad, which monitors jail conditions, states that a police officer have been shot  in the leg by a prisoner and that shortly afterwards mattresses in cells were set ablaze and the fire quickly spread.

Families of the prisoners gathered outside the jail to check on their members.

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