Prisoner dead, officers injured in Kumasi Prison chaos

Kumasi Central Prisons chaos

One prisoner has been confirmed dead and several others injured following a fire and the ensuing mayhem at the Kumasi Central Prisons on Wednesday evening, February 4.

Part of the prison was gutted by fire resulting in chaos as inmates fought to escape.

Reports suggest that the fire was deliberately started by inmates at around 5pm.

Their struggle was allegedly sparked by unheeded requests for the improvement of the terrible conditions that they have to live in, including overcrowding, poor health care and terrible meals, among others.

A fight is believed to have broken out between the inmates and the wardens, during which several wardens were injured and one inmate died.

Computers are said to have been destroyed and the prison kitchen was vandalized and items thrown over the high prison wall into the streets.

Heavily armed police and army reinforcements were called in to help contain the situation.

Unconfirmed reports say tear gas was released and shots were fired during the incident.

Present at the scene were DCOP Nathan Kofi Boakye, Ashanti regional minister Dr Samuel Sarpong, officers from the Ghana Fire Service, who helped bring the fire under control. Personnel from the Ghana Ambulance Service were on standby to deal with any casualties.

Speaking to Kessben Television, Dr Sarpong said he agreed with the opinion that prisons should be situated away cities to avoid such incidents spilling over into the community.

He added that the Regional Secretariat would meet to investigate what caused the incident and suggest possible measures to curtail future occurrences.

In an interview with Kessben Television, ASP James Annan PRO of the Ghana Prisons Service Kumasi said four prison officers were injured and sent to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). He confirmed that one inmate had died during the disturbance. However, other reports reaching Kessben Television suggest that about four prisoners were killed in the incident.

ASP Annan assured the public that none of the prisoners escaped. He added that some prison officers from Accra would be drafted in to help maintain order until the situation is resolved.