The death toll from a fire and clashes between rival gangs at a women’s prison in Honduras has risen to 46, the prosecutor’s office said Wednesday, as the first bodies were handed over to mourning families.
The violence occurred at a prison about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of the capital Tegucigalpa on Tuesday.
According to several accounts, members of a gang burst into an area housing rival group women, shot at them with heavy-caliber weapons, and set the place on fire.
That part of the prison was “completely destroyed” in the blaze, Delma Ordonez, who represents inmates’ relatives, told media.
The CEFAS correctional facility in Tamara held about 900 inmates, she added.
On Wednesday, the prosecutor’s office upped the confirmed death toll from 41 to 46. It was still unclear if all the victims were inmates.
A spokeswoman of the Forensic Medicine Directorate, Issa Alvarado, said 23 of the bodies had been identified and handed over to relatives.
Identification was continuing “in complex cases,” the prosecutor’s office said on its Twitter account.