SANTIAGO : At least 81 inmates died early Wednesday when fire swept through the San Miguel prison in the Chilean capital, police said.
Police Colonel Jaime Concha said the provisional death toll was 81, but that rescue crews were still working in the area.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours in a wing of the prison, which houses some 2,900 inmates.
Television images showed a large number of police surrounding the area in the south central section of Santiago, and relatives waiting outside for news.
Officials said the deaths were most likely caused by suffocation during the blaze.
Channel News Asia