The first video footage purporting to show the Honduras prison fire captures a sustained fireball on a black night backdrop. Throughout the nearly seven-minute video uploaded by YouTube user Carlos1990648, flames erupt and smoke billows over the prison.
The videographer and a female voice occasionally comment in shock, saying things such as, "Oh my God, their screams," and what sounds like gunfire rings out sporadically. Toward the end of the video, dogs bark, more gunfire sounds, and sirens blare from afar. But for most of the video, an eerie silence punctuates the deadly blaze.
Prior to the fire, an inmate reportedly called the local governor, telling her, "I will set this place on fire and we are all going to die!" Thus far, officials have confirmed 358 fatalities from the inferno, with more than half of the prison's inmates reportedly not even charged with crimes.
Comayagua Gov. Paola Castro said she called the Red Cross and the fire brigade immediately, but firefighters say they were kept out of the prison for nearly half an hour by guards firing guns into the air, thinking a riot or prison break was forming. Surviving inmates described the chaos inside the cells, claiming guards fled before unlocking the barracks, leaving hundreds of inmates to die.