Two inmates killed in Mpumalanga prison blaze

Jeff Wicks, News24

Durban - Two inmates were killed and six others were injured in a fire started by prisoners at the Belfast Correctional Centre in Mpumalanga on Saturday.

Department of correctional services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said that the fire was started in the early hours of the morning.

"A rapid response of correctional officials helped to save many lives, as the fire was extinguished before spreading to other cells.

"They transported those injured to the Witbank Provincial and Belfast local hospitals,” he said.

"Two inmates with higher degree burn wounds were taken to Witbank Provincial Hospital where they are still receiving high level treatment, while other inmates were treated at Belfast Hospital and returned to correctional centre, with only one still treated for smoke inhalation."

Wolela said that a preliminary investigation had revealed that the fire was started in a cell occupied by eight prisoners.

Why the prisoners started the fire was not immediately clear.