photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 21 February 2012

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Hundreds Die In Honduras Prison Fire

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • confirm: to state something as fact
  • condition: the quality, order, or appearance of something
  • capacity: the maximum number of people that a facility can safely hold
  • inmate: a person living in a prison
  • convict: to prove in court that a person is guilty of a crime

Hundreds Die In Honduras Prison Fire

Officials now confirm that 358 people died in a fire in central Honduras last week. The number is slightly lower than the original death toll announced by the fire chief. The prison, which is considered to have the conditions in Honduras, was extremely overcrowded and understaffed. Some reports say that the prison was over capacity by about 300 prisoners, and only had 12 guards the night the fire ripped through. Many of the inmates were suspected members who had never been convicted of a crime. No official cause of the fire has been released, but witnesses say an inmate set a on fire. This is the world’s prison fire in a century.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What does the report say about the conditions of this Honduras prison?
  2. What did many of the prisoners have in common?
  3. What is the suspected cause of the fire?

Discussion Question: When a fire breaks out in a prison, should guards open the gates and let the prisoners free? Why or why not?

show Answers

Written and recorded by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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