Prisoners steal keys and riot at French prison

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POITERS, France: Dozens of inmates at a prison in central France escaped from their cells and rioted after stealing the keys of a warden, prison sources said.

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“Two prisoners jostled a guard and managed to steal his keys, which allowed them to open all the cells,” union official Emmanuel Giraud told Agence France-Presse.

The inmates of the Vivonne prison in the centre-west town of Poitiers then set fire to one of the prison buildings and “broke everything,” added Giraud.

Six inmates and five guards were hospitalised for smoke inhalation, officials said.

The flames, which spread through one floor of the three-storey building were later put out by firefighters.

The incident began after a prisoner was refused parole and encouraged others to rebel with him, a prison source said.

The unrest which involved 60 inmates, broke out at 5 pm local time (1500 GMT) and order was restored five hours later, the justice ministry said.

The Vivonne prison is an ultra-modern facility, built in 2009 with a capacity for 578 inmates. AFP

AFP/CC

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