At least 30 people died in a pre-dawn prison riot in Mexico today, as flames billowed from the building and angry relatives tossed rocks at the gates, local media reported.
Riot police and ambulances were deployed at the Topo Chico prison in the northern industrial city of Monterrey, while families desperate for news flocked to the entrance.
Some relatives threw stones over the gate while others relatives shouted through a fence, hoping to hear information from the inmates.
The Televisa channel reported that 30 died while Milenio television spoke of 50 victims, with inmates and prison guards among them. TV footage showed a fire inside the facility in the middle of the night.
Milenio TV and Reforma newspaper reported that the riot broke out in an apparent escape attempt.
The riot erupted on the eve of Pope Francis’ trip to Mexico, during which he is due to visit another notorious prison, in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
Nuevo Leon state public security spokesman Antonio Arguello said the riot erupted at around midnight, but he was unable to confirm the death toll.
“The authorities formed a security cordon and nobody escaped. Everything was under control at 1:30 am,” Arguello told AFP.