One inmate was killed and 11 others hurt in a fight at El Rodeo I prison, Venezuela's prisons ministry said Wednesday.

Elvis Berthelmy, who was serving a 12-year sentence for aggravated robbery and illegal gun possession, died in Tuesday night's incident, ministry official Guido De Freitas said in a statement.

Eight of the injured inmates were treated in the prison infirmary, while the other three required hospitalization.

The situation is now under control and Prisons Minister Iris Varela remained in direct contact with personnel at the prison into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the statement said.

Located on the outskirts of Caracas, El Rodeo I was the scene in mid-2011 of a crisis that saw more than 1,000 armed inmates hold National Guard troops at bay for a month following a brawl in which 22 inmates died.

That episode was the spur for the creation of a prisons ministry to overhaul Venezuela's chronically overcrowded and strife-torn penitentiaries.

A fight last month inside Yare I prison, also near the capital, left 25 inmates dead and 43 injured.

Violence in the Andean nation's prisons claimed 304 lives in the first half of this year, an increase of 15 percent over the same period in 2011, according to the independent Venezuelan Prisons Observatory. EFE