By Nancy Caouette
MEXICO CITY (AA) – Three inmates have escaped following a riot and fire at a prison near Mexico City, authorities have said.
Approximately 1,000 police officers were deployed late Monday night to contain unrest at the Barrientos prison in Tlalnepantla, a municipality in a northern Mexico City suburb.
According to officials, 10 prisoners and 7 police officers were injured in the riot, but officials said they were out of danger.
“A fight emerged between several inmates at around 8 p.m.,” Secretary of the State Jose Manz said during a press conference, adding that the prisoners set fire to mattresses.
Police were able to restore order within three hours, according to Manz, but they realized three prisoners were missing during roll call.
A reward of 300,000 pesos ($16,000) is being offered for information on the inmates’ whereabouts.
"We think that three people took advantage of the fight in the prison to escape," Manzur said.
The escaped men were convicted of homicide, rape and house burglary.
About 250 relatives of the detainees at the prison encircled the facility Tuesday in hopes of getting information about their loved ones.
Riots are common in Mexico’s overcrowded prisons.
An uprising in February killed 49 inmates in the prison of Topo Chico, in the northern state of Monterrey.
According to Manzur, the Barrientos prison holed 3,000 inmates – twice its normal capacity.