Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

Distraught families are clamoring for information about detained relatives following a fire that Venezuela’s chief prosecutor says killed 68 people when it swept through the cells of the state police station.

Angry relatives fought with police outside the facility Wednesday after being unable to get any information on casualties from Wednesday’s fire, which townspeople said erupted after a disturbance involving detainees. Officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd, and local officials would confirm only that there were fatalities.

Prosecutor Tarek William Saab said four prosecutors had been named to determine what happened and who is responsible for the tragedy in Valencia, a town in Carabobo state 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Caracas, the capital.

It was one of the worst jail disasters in Venezuela, where human rights groups complain about poor conditions in prisons and jails. A fire at a prison in the western state of Zulia killed more than 100 inmates in 1994. (AP)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

<p>Relatives of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police react as they wait outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

Relatives of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police react as they wait outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>A police officer stands guard outside the General Command of the Carabobo Police prison in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A police officer stands guard outside the General Command of the Carabobo Police prison in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>A relative of prisoner cries, in the vicinity of the detention center of the State Police of Carabobo (center), in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018.(Photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A relative of prisoner cries, in the vicinity of the detention center of the State Police of Carabobo (center), in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018.(Photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Scroll to continue with content
Ad
<p>A woman is overcome by tear gas that was used to disperse the relatives of prisoners who were waiting to hear news about their family members imprisoned at a police station where a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (Photo: Juan Carlos Hernandez/AP) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A woman is overcome by tear gas that was used to disperse the relatives of prisoners who were waiting to hear news about their family members imprisoned at a police station where a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (Photo: Juan Carlos Hernandez/AP)

<p>Relatives of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police react as they wait outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

Relatives of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police react as they wait outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>A woman kicks at a riot police shield as relatives of prisoners wait to hear news about their family members imprisoned at a police station where a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (Photo: Juan Carlos Hernandez/AP) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A woman kicks at a riot police shield as relatives of prisoners wait to hear news about their family members imprisoned at a police station where a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (Photo: Juan Carlos Hernandez/AP)

<p>A group of relatives of prisoners speak with members of the Police, in the vicinity of the detention center of the State Police of Carabobo (center), in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A group of relatives of prisoners speak with members of the Police, in the vicinity of the detention center of the State Police of Carabobo (center), in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>Paramedics help a relative of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police, who fainted, outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

Paramedics help a relative of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police, who fainted, outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>A relative of a prisoner is comforted while waiting to hear news about the fate of the detained prisoners at a police station where a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (Photo: Juan Carlos Hernandez/AP) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A relative of a prisoner is comforted while waiting to hear news about the fate of the detained prisoners at a police station where a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (Photo: Juan Carlos Hernandez/AP)

<p>Police officers disperse the relatives of prisoners who were waiting to hear news about their family members imprisoned at a police station when a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Hernandez) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

Police officers disperse the relatives of prisoners who were waiting to hear news about their family members imprisoned at a police station when a riot broke out, in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. In a state police station housing more than one hundred prisoners, a riot culminated in a fire, requiring authorities to open a hole in a wall to rescue the inmates. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Hernandez)

<p>Relatives of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police react as they wait outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

Relatives of inmates held at the General Command of the Carabobo Police react as they wait outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>A group of relatives of prisoners protest before members of the Police, in the vicinity of the detention center of the State Police of Carabobo (center), in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A group of relatives of prisoners protest before members of the Police, in the vicinity of the detention center of the State Police of Carabobo (center), in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>A relative of inmates at the General Command of the Carabobo Police faints outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A relative of inmates at the General Command of the Carabobo Police faints outside the prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

<p>A homicide unit arrives to the General Command of the Carabobo Police prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) </p>
Families bereft after Venezuelan prison riot kills dozens

A homicide unit arrives to the General Command of the Carabobo Police prison, where a fire occurred in the cells area, according to local media, in Valencia, Venezuela, March 28, 2018. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

What to Read Next