8 Feb 2005

Third mass prison breakout in PNG in four weeks

4:36 pm on 8 February 2005

Thirty-three remand prisoners in the Papua New Guinea Highlands have broken free from jail in the third mass escape in the country in four weeks.

The National newspaper reports the remandees, many of whom are considered very dangerous, attacked a guard at Baisu Jail outside Mt Hagen yesterday, and fled.

Officials say the escapees swam to freedom across the Waghi River, where 10 were recaptured.

But the latest breakout brings to more than 1-hundred, the number of dangerous prisoners now on the run in Papua New Guinea.

Last Thursday, 32 convicted prisoners considered highly dangerous escaped from the Bui-yebi Jail in Mendi.

On the 18th of January, 65 convicted prisoners broke out of Bomana Jail near Port Moresby.

The warders said the breakout happened at a time when many staff members were on leave while others went to Mount Hagen City for the opening of the new legal year.