Skip to main content

At least 16 people dead in El Salvador juvenile facility fire

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Some of the victims are reported to have burns over 70 percent of their bodies
  • Officials believe the fire was caused by a short-circuit
  • The fire occurred in the city of Ilobasco, about 30 miles from the nation's capital

(CNN) -- At least 16 people died and another 22 were injured Wednesday in a fire at a juvenile detention center in El Salvador, said Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde, the interim chief for the national civil police force.

The cause had not been determined, Ramirez said, but officials suspect an electrical short-circuit.

The incident occurred in the city of Ilobasco, in central El Salvador. The city is nearly 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of the capital, San Salvador.

El Diario de Hoy newspaper reported on its website that some of the injured have burns over 70 percent of their bodies.

The Hospital Rosales emergency department reported it was treating 10 victims, the newspaper said.

Photographs on the website show a man's badly burned hands. Another photo shows someone wrapped in sheets and being loaded onto an ambulance on a stretcher. A third image shows a man with apparent burns on his shoulders and upper torso also being wheeled on a stretcher with medical personnel at his side.