Inmates escape Indonesian prison during floods, 10 believed to still be on the run

The collapsed 10-meter wall at Jambi State Penitentiary IIA.

Dozens of inmates swam to freedom from a flooded Indonesian jail after one of its walls collapsed, police said Wednesday, the latest breakout to hit the country’s creaking prison system.

At least 32 inmates escaped from the jail in Jambi city on western Sumatra island late Tuesday by swimming through the floodwaters after they smashed through the wall.

Most were recaptured but about 10 are believed to still be on the run after the breakout from the jail, which houses about 1,200 inmates, said Jambi police spokesman Kuswahyudi Tresnadi.

Hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been deployed to look for the escapees. Security forces are using rubber dinghies for the search operation in Jambi, which is still inundated with floodwaters.

“If the inmates are hiding with their families, we urge the families to surrender them and hand them over to us,” Tresnadi told AFP.

Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia where most prisons are overcrowded.

Last month, more than 440 inmates fled a jail in Pekanbaru City on the island of Sumatra after prison guards let them out of their cells to pray.

Only about half were recaptured.

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