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Prison Fire in Iran Kills 27 and Injures 50

From Associated Press

A fire broke out in an Iranian prison early Monday, killing 27 prisoners and injuring 50 others, officials said.

The fire erupted about 3:20 a.m. in the prison in Gorgan, the capital of northern Golestan province on the Caspian Sea, prison director Abbas Ali Arab said.

“Unfortunately, at least 27 prisoners were killed and 50 others injured in the incident,” Arab said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise.

The official said the victims were all inmates, aged 20 to 69, convicted by local courts on various charges, including drug smuggling, theft and robbery.

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Firefighters extinguished the blaze, and the injured were taken to several hospitals in different provincial cities, Arab said.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted provincial official Hossein Rafati as saying the fire was caused by a short circuit.

Authorities have launched an investigation, IRNA said.


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