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Cardiff prison arrests after explosive device ‘erupted’ – BBC News

Image copyright Richard Sutcliffe/Geograph
Image caption The letter said HMP Cardiff was 18 staff short of its 218 Employee Goal

Four men have been arrested after an explosive device was created at Cardiff prison.

South Wales Police reported a bottle containing an unidentified liquid “erupted and slid across the floor” on 15 June.

Three of the guys are under evaluation while one will face no additional action. The incident only came to light when a prison employee contacted South West Wales AM Bethan Jenkins.

Ms Jenkins wrote to UK Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah who confirmed it.

Mr Gyimah advised Ms Jenkins it wasn’t considered to be related to terrorism and the manager of public sector prisons in south Wales was satisfied measures were set up to prevent it happening again.

In Ms Jenkins’ letter to the ministry she wrote: “I was informed by the staff member in question that prisoners recently made a bomb out of tea whiteners, which are very flammable.

“I understand that the bomb was stopped from going off in this example, but that staff rely on prisoners acting so that no critical incidents occur.

“I was told that when they climbed up, they would be able to take over in less than 10 minutes, which was close to really happening lately.

“The staff member implied that they were very short staffed also so they are worried that they wouldn’t have the capacity to react sufficiently in an emergency situation.”

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Media captionUnderstaffing can see inmates take over prison, States AM

Ms Jenkins queried staffing levels at the website and asked if more support would be awarded to Cardiff prison consequently.

In his response, Mr Gyimah said HMP Cardiff had 165 prison officers and 35 operational staff – 18 workers short of its target staffing level.

South Wales Police said it was a “minor incident”.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed an incident had taken place and no prisoners or staff was hurt.

A spokesman added: “The matter was known to the authorities and it might be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

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Media captionMark Fairhurst of the Prisoner Officers’ Association states a plastic container burst

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