5.4-Mag Aftershock Sparks Prison Riot in Turkey

Prisoners set fires, guards fire tear gas
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 5:39 PM CDT
Smoke billows from a building of a jail in the eastern Turkish city of Van, on October 25, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Smoke and flames swirled out of a Turkish prison today when an aftershock from Sunday's earthquake sparked a riot among inmates, the BBC reports. The 5.4-magnitude aftershock prompted prisoners to ask for air, according to a lawmaker who joined family members outside: "When they couldn't get permission, they reacted and fire broke out in the jail," said pro-Kurdish MP Aysel Tugluk.

Inmates set fire to the prison and fought with security guards, according to reports. "But we heard gunshots with our own ears and learned that police fired tear gas," Tugluk said. The prison is in the eastern city of Van, one of Turkey's worst-hit areas in Sunday's earthquake. The quake's death toll has reached 459 people, and 1,352 are said to be injured; rescue teams are still looking for survivors.

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