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41 drug inmates killed, 39 injured in Indonesia prison fire

A massive fire broke out at a crowded prison near the Indonesian capital early Wednesday, killing at least 41 inmates and injuring 39 others.

Reika Aprinti, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections at the Ministry of Justice, said authorities were still investigating the cause of the fire in Block C of Tangrang Prison on the outskirts of Jakarta, designated for drug offenders.

Hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed to take control of the Tangerang prison, which was designed to hold 1,225 prisoners but has more than 2,000, Aparinti said. Block C was full of 122 convicts when the fire broke out.

The fire was brought under control after a few hours and all the victims were taken to the hospital, he said.

Fires caused by jailbreaks and riots are common in Indonesia, where overcrowding has become a problem in prisons that are plagued by poor funding and large numbers of people arrested in the war on illegal drugs.

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