~ prison officer confirmed dead ~
GUYANA — A fire set at the Camp Street prison after prisoners ambushed female guards and seized their weapons has flattened the entire complex.
Tonight, the family of prisoner officer Wayne Wickham confirmed that he had died following injuries sustained in the uprising. His death is the first confirmed casualty in what is becoming the worst security crisis to confront the Granger administration since it took office.
The fire began close to 3pm and by 8 pm the entire complex, many of the aged buildings made of wood, was ablaze
Hundreds of prisoners are being evacuated from the facility and taken to the Lusignan jail and other facilities. There are fears for the lives of prisoners in the complex. The capital section was completely burnt in the early part of the afternoon. A prison officer was shot twice in the early unrest and was taken to hospital. Other injured persons have been seen being taken from the compound. Security forces have cordoned off the scene. Along with flames, large amounts of smoke rose from the compound during the carnage and gunshots were fired on the outside from within. At 5.30 pm, only two fire engines were at the scene. Up to this evening, President David Granger and senior ministers were said to have been in an emergency meeting at State House.
During the afternoon it was disclosed that prisoners had stormed the prison officer’s recreation centre and set it alight.
The disturbance began around 2.30 pm, according to reports. The tailor shop in the compound was also one of those destroyed by fire earlier in the day.
Reports are that the attack by prisoners was launched when they were about to be fed. It is reported that they attacked female guards with improvised weapons and seized two guns from them.
Ranks from the Guyana Defence Force are on the scene in addition to the other security services.
Tonight, the authorities said that at least six prison officers are in hospital suffering from chop wounds or bullet wounds as a result of the prison uprising. Several prisoners have also been hospitalised.
Residents of Buxton on the East Coast have reported that the police have driven through Buxton Front near the pump station and fired shots. There are reports that the authorities believe that a prisoner from the Camp Street disturbance has fled there. A car was found in company trench and police believe it could have transported the escapee.
On March 3rd 2016, 17 prisoners died at the same complex after a fire was set during hours of unrest at the major prison facility. A Commission of Inquiry was later convened and recommendations made to avoid a recurrence.