LIMA, Peru (AP) — A fire broke out Sunday night in Peru’s most populated prison and two inmates were reported dead as firefighters struggled with problems in Lima’s water system caused by mudslides and flooding from recent heavy rains.
Deputy Interior Minister Ruben Vargas told RPP radio that the bodies of two prisoners had been recovered. He blamed the fire on a short circuit caused by the unusually heavy rainfall that has hit Lima and other parts of Peru in recent days.
“It was not a mutiny (by inmates) or loss of control of the prison,” Vargas said of the incident at Lurigancho prison, a jail in eastern Lima that had 9,345 inmates listed in December.
Several hundred people gathered outside the prison hoping for news about their relatives held inside.
The capital is experiencing widespread water outages due to the heavy rains, floods and mudslides that have killed at least 75 people and injured 263 in about half of the country in recent days. Officials have said the flooding is Peru’s worst in two decades.