Published: Feb 15, 2012 1:12 PM EST

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) - Authorities say fire has swept through a prison in Honduras, killing at least 272  inmates .

Comayagua fire department spokesman Josue Garcia said he saw "hellish" scenes while trying to put out the fire. He said "some 100 prisoners were burned to death or suffocated in their cells."
 
Garcia said many prisoners were trapped because the guard who had the key to their cells could not be located.
 
The facility, which held at least 800 inmates, is located 140 kilometers (90 miles) north of the Central American country's capital, Tegucigalpa.