Official: Prison fire in Honduras leaves 272 dead

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) -- A forensic official in Honduras says a fire that swept through a prison has killed at least 272 inmates.

Lucy Marder, chief of forensic medicine for the prosecutors' office, gave the death count to reporters in a radio news conference early Wednesday.

The head of the national prison system, Danilo Orellana, said the fire broke out Tuesday night at a prison in the town of Comayagua, 90 miles (140 kilometers) north of the Central American country's capital, Tegucigalpa.

Comayagua fire department spokesman Josue Garcia said he saw "hellish" scenes while trying to put out the fire, with many prisoners "burned to death or suffocated in their cells."