President David Granger has summoned a high level meeting with senior Police, Prison and Fire officials and other security officers as the death toll in the Camp Street prison fire continued to climb on Thursday afternoon.
By 2:00pm on Thursday as investigators moved in to the jail house after the fire was extinguished, the bodies of at least 13 prisoners were found. Senior police officials at the scene said it is suspected that other bodies will be discovered.
One prison official said the death toll could reach as high as 20.
It was just after 11 o’ clock Thursday midday that the fire service was called to the prison which is located in central Georgetown. Prisoners had set fire to a section of the capital offences section of the jailhouse in protest to a raid by prison authorities on Wednesday.
The protest actually started on Wednesday night and quickly escalated on Thursday morning as the prisoners protested the raid and also complained that their relatives were no longer being allowed to take food for them.
The Prison Service has been trying to clamp down on the smuggling of illegal items into the prison. News Source understands that during the raid, prison authorities seized cellphones and improvised weapons and other illegal items from the prisoners.
While there have been deadly protests and fights in the Camp Street jail before, today’s incident will go down as the deadliest in recent times.
A full investigation is underway and security as been beefed up around the jail. Several roads close to the jail have been completely closed off to traffic.