Africa

Ghana's Kumasi prison hit by deadly clashes after fire

Kumasi prison (February 2015) Image copyright other
Image caption Extra security force members were deployed to the prison to restore order

At least one person has been killed and four others wounded in clashes at a prison in Ghana's Kumasi city when inmates tried to escape after a fire broke out, officials have said.

Security officers battled with the prisoners, leaving one inmate dead and four policemen wounded, they added.

The prisoners tried to escape as they were being evacuated from their cells after the fire broke out.

The fire was caused by lightning, officials said.

"We had to open the inmates' [cells] for their lives to be spared," Kumasi prison spokesman James Annan told the AFP news agency.

'Bricks hurled'

Kumasi-based journalist Erastus Asare Donkor told BBC Newsday that some inmates stole the clothes of prison officers and tried to escape by climbing a wall.

Image copyright other
Image caption Inmates were accused of throwing objects at guards

Police reinforcements were brought in to help restore order as the situation threatened to deteriorate.

Prisoners hurled bricks, chairs and other objects at the police, Mr Annan said.

Officers retaliated by firing tear gas and shot dead one inmate when he tried to snatch a gun, he added.

But Mr Donkor, who was at the scene during the riot, said that two inmates were killed and five officers were wounded in the clashes.

Mr Annan said none of the prisoners managed to escape, and calm had been restored at the prison.

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