Twelve prisoners died early on Thursday when a fire broke out inside a penitentiary in Uruguay, police said.
Another eight inmates were hospitalized in serious condition after the blaze, which occurred at a prison in the city of Rocha, about 130 miles (210 km) east of the country's capital, Montevideo.
Deputy Police Chief Celso Sosa told local radio: "We've practically ruled out the possibility that this was an intentional blaze. Initial information tells us it may have been started by a short-circuit or by a piece of clothing catching fire on one of the heaters."
Sosa told local television the fire had started at 3:30 a.m. (0630 GMT) in a cell where 20 inmates were held, killing 12 of them.
He said the low-security prison housed around 120 inmates, or double the number it was originally built to hold.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2010, 17:10