One prisoner dies as daring escape fails

An awaiting-trial prisoner died while five others and eight wardens were injured during an attempted escape at Mthatha's Wellington Prison in Eastern Cape, police said yesterday.

An awaiting-trial prisoner died while five others and eight wardens were injured during an attempted escape at Mthatha's Wellington Prison in Eastern Cape, police said yesterday.

"The attempted escape which occurred last night [Sunday] was really like something out of the movies," said Superintendent Mzukisi Fatyela.

He said five of the prisoners, who were accused of murder, rape, armed robbery and hijackings, were receiving their dinner when they overpowered four wardens.

"They were armed with knives, and managed to steal a key to one of the cells, which was holding the sixth prisoner. The prisoners then dragged the wardens to the cell, opened it up, released the sixth prisoner, shoved them [the wardens] into the cell and locked the gate," Fatyela said.

He said the prisoners then brought out a rope made of bedsheets and hung it onto a window.

The six then began climbing the wall to get to the window.

"The prison alarm was set off. They managed to get outside to the fence around the prison, but were apprehended by four wardens."

A fight broke out and six prisoners were badly injured and taken to hospital where one of them died. Four wardens involved in the fight were also taken to hospital. - Sapa

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