Subject: LUSA: Fire destroys Dili prison administration, blaze appears accidental

20-01-2003 11:48:00. Notícia nº 4563967

East Timor: Fire destroys Dili prison administration, blaze appears accidental

Dili, Jan. 20 (Lusa) - A big fire destroyed the administrative building of suburban Dili's Becora prison, the country's largest, Monday and officials said initial investigations indicated the blaze had started accidentally.

There were no reports of injuries.

Officials told Lusa no prisoner had attempted to escape during the fire and there had been no need to evacuate inmates.

Most prison records had been saved, they said.

Timorese and UN police and soldiers re-inforced guard around the prison.

An official close to the investigations told Lusa preliminary reports indicated the fire had begun "accidentally", perhaps by a carelessly put out cigarette.

In a communique the UN mission said the fire began in a storage area of the administrative building where mattresses, pesticides and fuel had been kept.

At the government's request, the UN mission, UNMISET, said it would immediately revamp visiting areas to serve the prison administration.

ASP/SAS -Lusa-

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