Nyarugenge prison commonly known as 1930 caught fire yesterday around 3PM and three inmates reported to have injured in commotion trying to rescue their lives, Minister of justice also in charge of Rwanda Correctional Services said.
The nearby sources told Bwiza.com they had heard shooting noise, others suspect some escaping prisoners shot but officials denied.
According to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye, some inmates attempted to flee using the back entrance while attempting to escape in the commotion; promoting Police to fire warning shots in the air.
“People tried to climb the rear gate of the prison as they were trying to escape,” Busingye said.
The Commanding Officer of the Fire and Rescue Brigade, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Jean-Batiste Seminega, said the fire engines stationed at the nearby Union Trade Centre (UTC) had reached the site within five minutes of receiving of the call.
The affected cell was host to 68 inmates, according to Hillary Sengabo, Senior Inspector of Prisons (SIP) at Rwanda Correctional Services.
SIP Sengabo said three inmates were injured during the evacuation process. He said two of the injured were attended to from within the prison compound. The other sustained a head injury and was taken to Muhima Hospital for further medical treatment.
The incident occurs days after Minister of Justice said the inmates’ relocation to the new compound in Mageragere is due to February next year.
Nyarugenge prison which situated in Nyarugenge District in Muhima Sector, was constructed in 1930 and formerly was both for Men and Female inmates.
It provides easy and safe management of inmate’s files using Prisonwatch software which is newly upgraded to IECMS and all inmates are recorded. It accommodates more than 3000 prisoners.
Theogene U @Bwiza.com