A massive riot in a Brazil jail has reportedly resulted in the grisly deaths of more than 50 people.
What are the details?
According to reports, gang members from one block within the prison gathered and stormed another part of Altamira jail in Pará state, which is in northern Brazil, on Monday, attacking rival gang factions. Some inmates also reportedly set areas of the prison on fire.
The violence reportedly lasted for nearly five hours.
Sixteen of the 52 people who were killed were reportedly decapitated, and two prison officers were taken hostage during the fracas. None of the jail staff were reportedly harmed during the melee.
The BBC reported that the prison was grossly overcrowded. The jail has a capacity of 200, but there were reportedly more than 300 prisoners being housed in the facility, according to Brazilian news outlet G1, the BBC said.
Officials said that many of the inmates also died of asphyxiation and that the death toll could rise in the coming days. Prisons Chief Jarbas Vasconcelos made the remarks at a local news conference, according to The Associated Press.
A similar incident broke out in May when more than 50 inmates were killed in the country’s Amazonas state over a period of two days and in four jails. The majority of the victims were reportedly strangled to death.
In January 2017, more than 140 prisoners were killed during prison riots that spanned three weeks. The attacks were reportedly a result of the rivalry between two drug gang factions.
NBC News reported that Brazil’s incarceration rate is the third-highest in the world.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro previously insisted that he is intent on exercising heavier control in Brazil’s prisons.