Prisoners at HMP Isle of Wight, who said they suffered physical and psychological harm after a major fire broke out 7 years ago, have received a pay-out after taking legal action against the Ministry of Justice.
The matter was due to go to the High Court for trial but at a hearing earlier this week it was confirmed the MoJ has now settled out of court.
It was on 18th February 2015 when a fire that had been started intentionally by a prisoner, Dino Laximidas, broke out in Alpha Wing of House Unit 15 whilst prisoners were locked in their cells and unable to evacuate.
7 Fire Appliances, an Aerial Ladder Platform and the Incident Command Unit were mobilised to the scene alongside a total of 8 Ambulances.
A major incident was declared as a result of the blaze which took hold of the 2nd and 3rd floors of the wing, injuring 15 prisoners with 4 of them transported to St Mary’s Hospital. A further 6 patients were treated with oxygen at the prison, 2 of which were admitted to the prison hospital.
In total 86 prisoners were moved to the prisons gym as a result of the fire.
Sources tell Island Echo that the fire spread very fast with thick black smoke filling the wing. It is said that at least 1 prisoner had to be given CPR on the wing landing after inhaling acrid smoke.
Legal action by over 20 people – who were prisoners at the time – claimed that there were a series of breaches of duty of care by the Ministry of Justice.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said:
“We only settle when it is in the interest of taxpayers and any outstanding debts owed to victims must be paid before prisoners receive a penny.”
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