Open Prison Riot 'Sparked By Breath Tests'

(DAILYMAIL)

A prison was up in flames today after inmates went on a New Year's Day rampage, apparently sparked when they were ordered to undergo breathalyser tests for contraband alcohol.

Around 40 prisoners at Ford Prison near Arundel in West Sussex starting smashing windows and hitting fire alarms at around midnight before actually settling buildings alight.

Staff were forced to retreat from part of the site while specialist prison officers in riot gear were rushed in as huge flames continued to blaze this afternoon.

Six accommodation blocks, a snooker room, a pool room containing brand new pool tables, a gym block and mail room have been destroyed.

Firefighters, riot police and specialist officers eventually poured into the site at around 1pm in a bid to regain control after areas of the prison were initally locked down for safety.

Huge plumes of smoke billowed into the sky as prisoners could be seen carrying their belongings to safety in large plastic bags.

An inquiry is inevitable after it emerged just two prison officers and four support staff were on hand to manage 496 inmates last night despite rising tensions in recent days.
AP