Inmate dies, 6 others hospitalized due to heat, congestion at Pasay City jail
The prevailing summer heat compounded by an overcrowded cells at the Pasay City Jail could be a deadly combination as an inmate died while six others were rushed to the hospital after fainting due to exhaustion and possible dehydration on Wednesday.
Inmate Domingo delos Santos, 30, appeared to be the third inmate to die at the city jail since February. The jail facility remains to struggle in looking for viable measures to adjust from the increasing population of detainees.
In a report by Chief Insp. Rogelio Hernandez, of the Pasay City Police, around 105 male detainees erupted in an “unruly” noise barrage at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday to call the attention of authorities after their fellow inmates fell unconscious.
There are 143 prisoners at the male detention cell of the Station Investigation and Detective Management Branch, a 22.8-square-meter facility meant to accommodate only 40 people, Senior Insp. Wilfredo Sangel, chief of investigation of the Pasay police, told the Inquirer on Wednesday.
Hernandez said that the detainees collapsed due to the “congestion of the facility from the great[ness] of their numbers, coupled with the rising extreme heat during summer time.”
The report said that a rescue team immediately rushed in and took eight sick inmates to the Pasay City General Hospital. Delos Santos was, however, declared dead opon arrival at the emergency room at about 11:15 p.m.
Sangel said Delos Santos had been at the male detention cell for almost three weeks for drug-related charges. Prior to Delos Santos’ death, reports said he had fainted earlier in the day but managed to recoup himself after been given proper medication, Sangel added.
Five prisoners returned to the jail on Thursday and were in stable condition, while one Eric de Leon, who is also facing drug charges, remained at the hospital.
To ease congestion, city police officers decided to temporarily transfer the 14 female detainees to the office occupied by police investigators, and let some of the men use the cell typically reserved for female inmates to decongest the cells.
Sangel added that medics were being brought in every two hours to check on the condition of detainees.
Police officials attributed the swelling in the number of inmates to the nightly simultaneous anticriminality and law enforcement operations conducted by police. Most of those being arrested are suspects who are breaking city ordinances like drinking in public and illegal gambling. With reports from Joanna P. delos Santos, Jonnabeth Ortega and Samantha I. Almero / jpv
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