Guyana’s President David Granger is to name a three-member panel today, which is being set up to investigate a riot at the country’s main prison that sparked a fire, which left 17 prisoners dead and at least five others injured yesterday.

The deadly uprising at the overcrowded Camp Street Prison in Georgetown, built for 600 but now housing approximately 984 inmates, came on the heels of unrest the day before, according to Prison Superintendent, Kevin Pilgrim.

Speaking at press conference yesterday with Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and other high ranking prison officials, Pilgrim said that on Wednesday afternoon a mandatory monthly raid was conducted at the jail and 19 cellphones and a quantity of marijuana were seized during the two hour operation.

Sometime later that day inmates in the Capital A section which houses those committed to stand trial and others on remand lighted 9 mattresses a fire, but they were extinguished. The unrest, however, reignited yesterday morning when inmates started a fire that got out of control and engulfed a section of the facility.

Pilgrim said the deceased appeared to have died from burns and smoke inhalation.

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