Abuyog, Leyte: Ten inmates of the maximum Security Compound of Abuyog Penal Colony in Barangay Cagbolo here have died after the building caught fire on Thursday afternoon.
Philippine National Police Eastern Visayas spokesman Chief Insp. Mark Nalda said that initial reports showed that the fire was triggered by faulty electrical wirings at the comfort room of the penal colony.
The police manning the building tried to put out the fire but failed. The Bureau of Fire Protection received the information at 8:30 in the evening on Thursday.
The Penal Colony, said Nalda, has at least 1,256 inmates.
However, after the fire, Nalda said prison authorities found that there were 11 inmates missing.
On Friday afternoon, it was reported that 10 have died and many were burned beyond recognition.
Initially, prison authorities said that they cannot declare the 11 inmates as dead until their bodies were recovered because they could have escaped from the colony.
Abuyog deputy fire chief Junrey Ong said in a phone interview that they have not received reports that some inmates escaped during the fire.
Ong said that the survivors were brought to the nearby medium security building. The prison compound has seven buildings.
The investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire at the maximum security building. Top officials of the BFP in the region inspected the penal colony on Friday morning.