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A man walks through a burnt yard in the National Prison compound in Comayagua, where at least 272 people were killed and scores injured when a fire overnight tore through the prison. The fire was the world's deadliest blaze at a penal facility in the last decade.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AFP / Getty Images

One of the injured inmates, who sustained burns on 20% of his body, is taken out of the operating theater in Tegucigalpa.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AFP / Getty Images

Riot police stand guard at the entrance of the prison on the morning after the fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

Forensic service workers move some of the corpses after the prison fire. A total of 272 bodies have been recovered, Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla said, adding that the death toll was likely to cross 300.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gustavo Amador / European Pressphoto Agency

Inmates' relatives react at the scene of deadly prison fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Fernando Antonio / Associated Press

An injured inmate is carried as he arrives at the hospital after a fire broke out at the prison in Comayagua.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Fernando Antonio / Associated Press

An inmate is treated for injuries at the national facility, which held about 850 prisoners.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

A firefighter is on the scene at the prison.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

A policeman, right, guards two injured inmates after the prison fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gustavo Amador / European Pressphoto Agency

Inmates stand in the courtyard of the prison after the fire broke out in Comayagua, a town 90 miles north of the Central American country's capital, Tegucigalpa.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Fernando Antonio / Associated Press

A woman cries after she was informed of the death of her son, who was jailed at the prison.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

Relatives of inmates wait for news after the fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GUSTAVO AMADOR / European Pressphoto Agency

Fire vehicles attempt to enter the prison compound amid prisoners' relatives and spectators.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

Relatives of inmates hoping for news wait outside the prison after the deadly prison fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

Forensic personnel stand by to enter the National Prison compound, where hundreds of prisoners were killed and scores injured in the fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP / Getty Images

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Authorities said Wednesday a fire at a prison in central Honduras killed at least 272 trapped inmates, and perhaps more than 300, in scenes one official described as “horrific.”

Honduran authorities have yet to determine the cause of Tuesday night’s blaze at the prison in the town of Comayagua but said they were examining whether it might have been ignited by a riot or an electrical failure.

The death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers picked through the charred cells, where many inmates were asphyxiated or burned alive, officials said. Dozens of others, some with severe burns, were taken to hospitals in Comayagua and the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Read blog post: Many prisoners trapped in cells during ‘horrific’ Honduras fire

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