AFP reports that no fewer than 172 inmates have escaped from a Haitian prison near Port-au-Prince.
Local media reports that one of the prison guards was killed in the fracas as the inmates made away with weapons from the prison armoury.
Quoting Arcahaie prison manager, Heurtelou Paul Colson, on Saturday, October 22, Le Nouvelliste newspaper reports that the guard was shot dead and two other officers injured.
According to the reports, one of the fleeing prisoners climbed over a wall and fell to his death while two others were wounded and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
Speaking with the publication, the prison manager said that one of the detainees, Yvener Carelus, who was serving time for kidnapping, was the mastermind behind the escape but and was arrested.
Minister for Justice, Camille Edouard Junior told the newspaper, “He planned the escape from the inside with a few accomplices,” adding that security has been increased in all the prisons across the country.
According to human rights activist, Pierre Esperance, the prison housed “a lot of big-name prisoners, major criminals sentenced for theft, rape, kidnapping, drug trafficking, etc.”
The authorities have reportedly launched a search for the escaped convicts, with checkpoints along all the roads in the Arcadins coastal zone near Arcahaie prison.
“The government strongly condemns the incidents that took place at Arcahaie prison, targeted in a mutiny by heavily armed individuals,” the office of interim prime minister Enex Jean-Charles, who also serves as defence minister, said in a statement.
“Special police units are on site to secure the area and prevent those responsible from causing further harm,” he said.
Jean-Charles has reportedly asked the justice minister to “take all necessary measures to remedy this unacceptable situation."
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the foreign, justice and interior ministers as well as top national police officials, have visited the prison following the incident.