Latin America & Caribbean

In pictures: Aftermath of deadly Brazil prison fight

A prisoner is escorted during transfer to a federal jail, after a riot in a prison in the city of Altamira, Brazil, July 30, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

Prison officials have begun transferring the ringleaders behind a deadly fight at Altamira jail in north-eastern Brazil.

Fifty-eight inmates were killed when members of a criminal gang known as Comando Classe A (CCA) attacked rivals from the Comando Vermelho (Red Command) gang.

The number of dead rose from 57 to 58 after a further body was found among rubble on Tuesday.

Sixteen of the dead were decapitated, the others died from asphyxiation after a fire was started in one of the cells.

Smoke quickly spread through the building and could be seen billowing from outside the prison.

A handout photo made available by XINGU 230 shows a group of journalist waiting outside of a prison in Altamira, state of Para, Brazil, 29 July 2019 Image copyright EPA

Justice Minister Sergio Moro ordered that the gang members behind the deadly fight be transferred to other jails. In total, 46 inmates are being moved.

Inmates are transferred a day after a riot at the Altamira Regional Recovery Centre in the Brazilian northern city of Altamira, Para State, on July 30, 2019. Image copyright AFP

Those considered most dangerous were taken to federal prisons, which are deemed to have better security than state jails.

An official report published on Monday said the number of guards at Altamira jail - only 33 - had not been enough to guarantee safety at the prison.

But on Tuesday, armoured guards were on hand to escort forensic experts into the prison.

A penitentiary agent guards the arrival of forensic experts at the Altamira Regional Recovery Center, in Altamira, Brazil, 30 July 2019. Image copyright EPA

Meanwhile, there were chaotic scenes outside the Legal Medical Institute where relatives of those killed were waiting for hours to be called to identify the bodies.

Relatives wait to enter the Legal Medical Institute to identify some of the bodies of the massacre which left 58 dead at the Altamira Regional Recovery Center, in Altamira, Brazil, 30 July 2019. Image copyright EPA

More than one relative fainted after having to identify the mutilated body of a loved one.

A relative of a prisoner is carried away after she fainted in front of the Medical Legal Institute of Altamira, Brazil, July 30, 2019 Image copyright Reuters
A relative of a prisoner cries in front of the Medical Legal Institute of Altamira, Brazil, July 30, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

A worker at the coroner's office asked the local firefighters to provide the waiting relatives with water, food and medical help.

Forensic officials said 15 bodies were released for burial on Tuesday.

A relative of murdered prisoner lies on a chair next to a coffin during a wake after a prison riot in the city of Altamira, Para state, Brazil July 30, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

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