Cairo: Eight people have died inside a septic tank in a prison in north-eastern Algeria, local media reported.
The victims were an inmate and seven guards, who died of suffocation inside the tank in the prison located in the province of Bejaia, Algerian Justice Minister Balkacem Zeghmati said.
Police opened an investigation into the incident while the bodies of the victims were transferred to a forensic medicine department at a regional hospital for post-mortem examinations.
Local media said the victims died while cleaning the tank.
The deaths were due to inhaling poisonous emissions, according to head of the local civil defence service Fadi Noureddin.
The justice minister extended condolences on behalf of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and the government to families of the victims.
An official delegation comprising ministers of interior, justice and water resources went to the site of the incident for inspection, Algerian media said