TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras Feb. 15 (Xinhua) – Honduran President Porfirio Lobo on Wednesday ordered a full investigation into a p****n f**e that k****d at least 350 i*****s on Tuesday night and suspended all officials at the p****n.

In a national address broadcast live on radio and television, Lobo expressed his condolences to the relatives of the v*****s, saying he had ordered an immediate in-depth investigation into the f**e in Comayagua p****n in central Honduras.

“My heart is with you and I want to express my most profound sentiment of solidarity to the families who are grieving over this inconsolable loss,” said Lobo in the address. He vowed to take “a full investigation to determine what caused this regrettable and unacceptable t*****y and identify those responsible.”

Lobo said he had suspended all relevant local and national officials in charge to guarantee a transparent investigation. Honduran Human Rights Commissioner Ramon Custodio said a total of 356 people had either been confirmed d**d or m*****g in the f**e. There are fears the d***h toll could climb above 400 as local officials continue to search for bodies in what’s becoming one of the worst p****n f***s in the country.

Daniel Orellana, head of Honduras’ p****n system, cited an ignited mattress and a short circuit in the electrical system as possible causes of the f**e. P****n sources told local media that the f**e was caused by a r**t by several gang members in the p****n, which was part of a plot to k**l two i*****s from a rival gang.

The Comayagua p****n holds a large group of convicted Mara 18 gang members that have for years terrorized large parts of Central America with brutality. Firefighters and rescue workers at the scene had been hampered for hours by the fast spreading f**e before they managed to get in and save those locked up in cells. Local f**e department spokesman Josue Garcia said the guard with keys to the cells was not available at the time.

Local f**e department official Col. Leonel Silva said the p****n was “filled with charred bodies” when the f**e was finally put out, with many i*****s burnt or suffocated in their cells. As the news of the d****y f**e continued to spread in the local community, some 2,000 grieving relatives of the i*****s, anxious to find out what had happened to their family members, gathered and tried to break barricades of soldiers and police at the p****n.

Their anxiety and grievance turned to anger when they were banned from entering the p****n to search for their loved ones. The p****n police fired s***s into air, stirring panic and confrontation in the otherwise peaceful small town.

B**********d i*****s were taken to hospitals and clinics for treatment early Wednesday. A doctor working at nearby Santa Teresa Hospital said many of the v*****s were quite young, and the hospital had already organized an expert team to treat them. The p****n, with a capacity to house 400, held over 800 prisoners at the time of the f**e, a significant overload that’s commonly seen in the country’s prisons.

El Salvador’s President Mauricio Funes sent his condolences to the Honduran people while Jose Miguel Insulza, head of the Organization of American States, said he was sending a special delegation to Honduras to investigate the tragic event. Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega said he was “profoundly saddened” over the i******t. “We are very sorry over this terrible t*****y,” Ortega said, adding that his country is ready to offer help. (Xinhua)


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