Death toll in Colombia prison riot fire rises to 53

The number of inmates who died after a fire broke out earlier this week during a prison riot in the Colombian town of Tulua has increased to 53, local health authorities said.

A top health official said that a young inmate succumbed to his injuries on Friday in a medical centre in the neighbouring city of Cali, where other prisoners were also in intensive care units, reports Xinhua news agency.

Minister of Justice Wilson Ruiz said on Tuesday that most of the fatalities were due to smoke inhalation after a fight between two inmates broke out and one of them lit a mattress on fire.

The resulting blaze in the prison, which houses some 180 inmates, was brought under control by the Tulua fire department and the injured inmates were transferred to local health centres.

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