Updated Oct 17, 2022 - World

Iran's Evin prison fire leaves at least 8 dead, 57 injured

a fire truck in front of the Evin prison, in the northwest of the Iranian capital Tehran

This image obtained from the Iranian news agency IRNA on Oct. 16 shows a firetruck in front of the Evin prison, in the northwest of the Iranian capital of Tehran. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Officials in Iran said the death toll from a fire at Evin prison rose to eight on Monday after four people died of their injuries, per AP. At least 57 were injured in the blaze.

Driving the news: Evin prison houses thousands of inmates, including hundreds of prominent political dissidents, activists and journalists, among others, and is well known for its alleged use of torture, per the New York Times.

  • Conflicting reports have abounded about the start of the fire, which was accompanied by the sound of explosions and gunfire, the Guardian reported.
  • Tehran's governor Mohsen Mansouri told state new agency IRNA that the fire had been started by prisoners following a fight among inmates, CNN reported.
  • Those killed died by smoke inhalation, Mansouri said, adding that the fire has now been contained and that "peace is maintained."

The big picture: Videos showing the distant blaze and a large plume of smoke proliferated on social media on Saturday night.

  • Officials claim the fire is not connected to the ongoing protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, per CNN.
  • Family members and protesters gathered outside the prison on Sunday in the aftermath of the fire, with family members demanding to hear about their incarcerated relatives, the Guardian reported.

What they're saying: "We are following reports from Evin Prison with urgency. We are in contact with the Swiss as our protecting power. Iran is fully responsible for the safety of our wrongfully detained citizens, who should be released immediately," State Department spokesperson Ned Price tweeted Saturday evening.

Go deeper: Defiance spreads in Iran despite crackdowns

Editor's note: This article has been updated to revise the death toll up from four and the injury toll down from 61.

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