At least 29 people have died and 50 wounded after a brutal fight in the high security Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the national police chief said.
The death toll is expected to rise much higher.
Fighting broke out among inmates in the maximum security area of Palmasola jail in the city of Santa Cruz when prisoners in one of the blocks exploded a metal propane tank in another of the blocks around dawn, leading to many of the bodies being burnt and several severe burn injuries.
Shots were heard being fired after the explosion.
Head of police Alberto Jorge said it took four hours to get the situation under control. About 256 prisoners were evacuated because of the fire.
Government official Celso Parada said one of the burnt bodies was of a small boy. While Palmasola is a prison for adults, many children live there with their parents as they serve their sentences.
Prisons in Bolivia are often overcrowded, but not only with adults. Hundreds of children live in them while their parents serve their sentences.
Under the country\’s legislation, children under six years are allowed to stay in their parents\’ cells.
The inside of Palmasola is largely controlled by its 3,500 inmates, most who are awaiting trial.