Rioting inmates set Lusignan Prison on fire

− 15 prisoners sustain minor injuries

Pandemonium broke out at the Lusignan penitentiary, East Coast Demerara (ECD), on Sunday after a fire was reportedly set in one of the holding areas by protesting inmates after a team was dispatched to probe the discovery of narcotics.

The Lusignan Prison on fire

The fire was reported set just after noon on Sunday, thus leaving several inmates trapped in the inferno.
Police later confirmed that at least 15 prisoners received minor injuries and were being treated. Guyana Times understands that the inmates might have suffered from severe smoke inhalation with a few being rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital to receive further medical attention.

When Guyana Times attempted to visit the area, the news entity and others were blocked by a barricade that was set up some distance away from the prison. It was

Members of the Guyana Defence Force were deployed to the area (Newsroom photo)

particularly difficult to see what was happening.
However, based on information gathered, the fire, which started in one section of the facility, quickly spread to other areas, thus causing chaos among inmates.
As a result of the riot coupled with the fire, the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) and Joint Services were immediately summoned to maintain order. The inmates were quickly relocated to a secure area in the compound under heavy guard.
Several areas in the facility were completely destroyed as a result of the fire. This development will affect close to 300 inmates.


De facto Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan told sections of the media on Sunday that none of the inmates was seriously injured or escaped.
He noted that after the fire started, he received telephone calls from both Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels and Police Commissioner, Leslie James, who informed him of the situation.
“There apparently was a discovery of a quantity of marijuana and after that, there was an argument among inmates; seems the persons who owned the marijuana, and others. It was during that [argument] that the fire started,” Ramjattan said.
The former Minister added that the 280-300 prisoners will have to be relocated. “The entire thing is destroyed so we have to find accommodation for about 300 prisoners…,” he related.
The police in a brief statement stated, “the situation is contained at this time and logistics and other systems are being implemented. The fire is completely extinguished and several inmates who sustained injuries are receiving medical attention.”
Meanwhile, at the scene, the mother of one of the prisoners said that her son sustained burns to his back and shoulders. He was transported to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in a stable condition.
On July 10, 2017, a massive fire destroyed most of the Georgetown Prison, thus resulting in the escape of several prisoners. One prison officer was shot and killed.
The prisoners on the run had included Bartica and Lusignan massacre convict Mark “Royden” Durant aka Royden Williams and Uree Varswyck aka Malcolm Gordon.
It was reported that the capital section of the Georgetown Prison was completely burnt, thus hundreds of prisoners were evacuated from the facility and taken to Lusignan, Timehri, New Amsterdam and Mazaruni.