Ten inmates at a Philippine city jail, including two Chinese nationals, were killed in a grenade explosion after a gunfight at the warden’s office, police and jail officials said Friday.
The warden of the Paranaque City jail in metropolitan Manila was wounded in the incident on Thursday evening, said senior superintendent Jose Carumba, the municipality’s police chief.
The inmates, most of whom were detained on drug-related charges, had set a meeting with the warden inside his office and were at the receiving area when a commotion broke out, he said.
“The warden said he heard a gunshot, which prompted him to grab his pistol,” Carumba said.
“The inmates kept firing at him, so he kept firing back as he tried to make his way out of his office. It was then that the grenade exploded,” he said.
An initial investigation suggested one of the inmates lobbed the grenade, said senior inspector Xavier Solda, spokesman for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, which has control over the jail.
“One possible angle is that these inmates were planning an attempt to escape,” Solda said. “But this is just one of the angles being looked into and the investigation is ongoing.”
The inmates had asked for a meeting with the warden to discuss a scheduled cell transfer, he said.
All visits to the jail were suspended amid the investigation, Solda said, as he assured relatives of those detained that the violence occurred far from the detention cells.