Three Inmates Die in Northwestern Russia Prison Fire

MOSCOW, January 7 (RIA Novosti) – Three inmates died when a fire broke out at a penal colony in northwestern Russia’s Vologda Region on Monday, a source in the region’s law enforcement authority said.

Initial reports said four inmates were injured, but their condition was unknown.

“Of the four inmates, who were hospitalized, three died in hospital,” the source said.

Local emergencies service said earlier in the day that a fire broke out in the high-security penal colony in the town of Sheksna at 16:25 local time (10:25 GMT) and spread to the area of 50 square meters. The evacuation of about 50 inmates was ordered.

The blaze was extinguished about half an hour later.

The prison made headlines in March 2012, after an inmate escaped the facility by helicopter. Alexei Shestakov, sentenced to 24 years in prison for murder, used a rope ladder to climb aboard a helicopter hired by his accomplices. He was recaptured by police several hours later.

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