Burundi’s government says 38 prisoners were killed in a fire Tuesday morning in Gitega, the country’s political capital.
Vice-President Prosper Bazombanza announced the deaths. Nearly 70 other people have been injured and the death toll could rise.
Two local residents said the fire broke out before dawn.
The prison in Gitega is overcrowded with more than 1,500 inmates in cells designed to hold 400, according to local reports.
In a statement on Twitter, Burundi’s interior ministry said an electrical short-circuit caused the fire.
A blaze broke out in August at the same prison. Authorities said that fire was caused by a electrical problem and there were no casualties.