4 dead in Congo after attempted prison escape

AP News
Posted: Nov 30, 2009 7:40 AM

A police official says four people died when a jail cell wall fell on them during an attempted prison escape in Congo's capital.

Inspector General Jean-de-Dieu Oleko said Monday that police are now investigating the deaths. He denied that the prisoners died of suffocation due to congestion.

Eight others were taken to the hospital after the inmates attempted to escape from the Lufungula police barracks' jail on Friday during a power cut.

Le Phare, a local newspaper, reported Monday that the prison had been housing more than 100 while it only had the capacity to hold 30. Human rights groups have cited poor prison conditions as a reason for so many escape attempts.

Last month, more 100 inmates escaped from jails in eastern Congo.