Three men remain on the run after a mass escape from a maximum security jail in Western Australia’s Mid West and residents and drivers are being warned to lock their doors and windows.
The escape occurred during a disturbance at the Greenough Regional Prison, which houses men and women, near Geraldton on Tuesday afternoon, WA Police said.
Eight inmates have now been caught, with another three still at large, police said on Wednesday afternoon.
It’s believed some inmates climbed onto a roof and others scaled a perimeter fence just after 4pm when prison officers went to extinguish a cell fire and “lost control of part of the prison”, Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall told The West Australian.
“It started with a cell fire and then there were a couple of other fires lit in the prison,” he said.
“They broke into some staff offices, got some equipment and used that to cause some damage. From the information I have, they got some equipment and scaled the perimeter fence.
“We’ll do a full investigation into exactly what happened and what the causes were.”
Police from Perth and various regional stations have been sent to the area to support local officers in the hunt for the remaining escapees, who are still believed to be in the area, 400 kilometres north of Perth.
“Police remind the public to be aware of their personal safety if travelling or living in the vicinity,” a police statement said.