31 inmates moved to maximum security after fire razes building in Krabi prison
Inmates in Krabi’s central prison set fire to a building on Friday while rioting over the treatment of inmates infected by Covid-19. As of press time, no injuries or deaths were reported.
Some 400 male inmates began rioting on Thursday night demanding that all Covid-19 patients in the prison be shifted to a hospital outside. The prison only has one zone and no proper spaces to quarantine the infected.
When the prisoners began breaking objects in their sleeping quarters, more than 300 crowd-control police officers showed up to control the situation. Prisoners who tried to scale the prison wall were shot with rubber bullets.
The fire was spotted at 5.50pm on Friday by villagers living behind the prison. About two hours later the old sleeping quarters building, which had been turned into a library, was completely damaged before firefighters could control the flames from spreading.
Once the fire was extinguished, officials raided the cells and arrested 31 prisoners who they believed were leaders of the riot. They were transported to the maximum-security Khoa Bin Prison in Ratchaburi. Officials said most of these prisoners are serving long sentences for drug-related offences and therefore there is a high probability of them escaping.
The Department of Corrections is also expected to move the remaining 1,700 prisoners to facilities in other provinces so they can sweep up the area and estimate the damage. The department also promised to notify the families of prisoners being transferred so they do not worry about their wellbeing.