29 Sep 2009

Correctional officers in PNG suspended after mass escape

1:23 pm on 29 September 2009

Ten correctional services officers in Papua New Guinea have been suspended for their absence during a mass breakout in which 57 prisoners escaped from jail.

The newspaper, the National, reports four of the prisoners from the Bomana jail on the outskirts of Port Moresby have now been recaptured but 53 remain on the run.

Some of the escapees, who fled at around midday on Sunday, are considered highly dangerous with convictions for crimes including murder, rape and robbery.

The correctional services deputy commissioner Henry Wavik called an urgent meeting with prison officials yesterday after the officers allegedly failed to turn up for duties.

The correctional service suspects the prisoners used a bolt cutter to cut through the six fences.

Henry Wavik blamed a shortage of manpower as one of the causes of the breakout, and highlighted the ratio of 30 officers to 600 prisoners at the prison.