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Prison Fire at Dutch Airport Leaves 10 Dead

October 27, 2005|From Associated Press

AMSTERDAM — A fire in a prison complex at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport killed 10 people and injured 15, a police spokesman said today.

Prison cells at the airport are generally used to detain drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. It was unclear whether any prisoners escaped.

"There was a fire at a building on the east side of the airport," Dutch military police spokesman Rob Stenakker said. "At least 10 people were killed."

He declined to give further details.

Hundreds of cocaine smugglers, mostly from the Caribbean, are detained at the airport every year, as are immigrants caught trying to enter the country illegally. Prison cell capacity was greatly expanded in 2002.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight and raged until 3 a.m., Dutch media reported. Firefighters and airport police officers were among the injured, according to the reports.

There were 350 prisoners being held in the complex when the fire broke out. About 43 were in the wing that caught fire. Prisoners were taken to other facilities in nearby cities or moved within the complex, the reports said.

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