AN inmate at Castellon’s Albocasser prison died in the early hours of this morning (Monday) after setting fire to the mattress in his cell in the isolation module.
The reasons for the arson attack are still under investigation, but prison sources reveal that this is the third such incident in the same wing in just two weeks.
However, this is the first cell fire to claim a life, as by the time the wardens managed to open the door the victim had already passed away due to smoke inhalation, due to the small size of the room and the fact that the window was closed.
The previous incident took place last Thursday (August 19), when another convict also set fire to his mattress and other personal belongings within the isolation section in the early hours of the morning.
In this case, the prisoner was rescued quickly and no serious personal injuries were reported.
The third fire, recorded on August 12 in identical circumstances and in the same wing of the prison, left three wardens injured and the inmate unconscious due to smoke inhalation, although the convict recovered quickly in the prison infirmary.
Penitentiary trade union CSIF have repeatedly warned of the dire situation faced by convicts and staff at Albocasser, where there is said to be no doctor and only one nurse on call outside normal working hours for a total population of 900 inmates.
CSIF insist on the need for 24-hour medical and emergency staff at the prison, given that all three arson attacks took place very early in the morning.
The isolation module at Albocasser reportedly houses the most conflictive prisoners, who are allowed to have a lighter among their possessions.
The union is calling for this permission to be revoked, as well as a thorough investigation into the spate of identical incidents in such a short period of time.