Over 350 people died in a fire which broke out in a prison in the city of Comayagua, Honduras, in the early hours of Wednesday.
A senior official at the attorney general’s office, Danelia Ferrera, said 357 people died in the blaze.
It was one of the worst prison fires ever in Latin America, and local radio reports said many of the inmates were burned to death inside their cells.
There was confusion over the death toll, with some reports that the 357 figure included more than 100 inmates who escaped during the fire and others that the dead and missing totalled 402 people – almost half the prison’s inmates.
According to one version, the fire broke out as a result of a prisoners’ uprising, according to another, the reason was a short circuit.
Relatives of suspected victims later tried to force their way into the prison, desperate for news.
The fire broke out late on Tuesday night and took more than an hour to be brought under control.
The prison is in 80 kms from Honduras’s capital Tegucigalpa, in the country’s center.
At present, firemen are carrying the dead people out of the burnt cells.