21 Dec 2009

Escaped prisoners from PNG's Lae jail still on run

4:29 pm on 21 December 2009

Papua New Guinea police say all but three of the seventy-three prisoners who broke out of Buimo jail in Morobe province remain on the run and could have fled to other provinces.

The prisoners cut through two fences and overpowered three warders in last Thursday's breakout at the Lae city facility.

Correctional Services has confirmed that the jail's commander was held hostage for almost three hours and a young prison officer was used as a human shield during the escape.

The Morobe Police Commander, Giossi Labi, says two prisoners were recaptured a short time after the escape and another was shot dead, but the others remain at large:

"One or two may be here. The others, from the other provinces, may have gone. There were means of transportation by boat, by ship, by air but we have already sent photographs and the names to all the provinces in the country to help to try and catch them."

Morobe Police Commander Giossi Labi