LIMA: Five detainees at a juvenile center in Peru's northern city of Trujillo died Wednesday when a blaze broke out in the facility during a revolt, police said.
"Right now, we know we have five people dead -- five minors who have died. We are still at the site," police official Helber Ordonez told AFP.
"There was a rebellion," he said.
Some detainees had set fire to mattresses in one part of the center "and as a result the blaze occurred," he said.
It was not immediately known how many young offenders were in the Juvenile Diagnosis and Rehabilitation Center in Trujillo, located 500 kilometers (300 miles) north of the capital Lima.
A couple of years ago, the establishment's director complained that although the facility was built to hold 80 minors it had more than twice that crowded inside.
Peruvian television showed images of relatives gathered outside the center, anxious for news of what was happening inside.
Columns of smoke were seen rising from the site, and it was reported fire crews had brought the flames under control after a three-hour operation.
Trujillo, Peru's main northern city, has high incidents of crime, much of it linked to gangs and drug traffickers. Pope Francis visited the city in January during a South America tour.