240 Inmates Escape in Indonesia Prison Riot

Most still on the loose after uprising that killed 5

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 12, 2013 3:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Nearly 200 prisoners—and five convicted terrorists—may be roaming the streets of Indonesia today, after a deadly prison riot over a broken water supply led to a mass breakout. Five people were killed—two guards and three prisoners—as inmates at the maximum-security Tanjung Gusta facility in Medan lit fires, stole guns, took guards hostage, and burned a building in which they were trapped, CNN reports. About 240 prisoners escaped, though 64 have been recaptured and "the situation is under control," a prison rep told USA Today.

Around 800 soldiers and police have blocked roads to nearby provinces and are searching the area for the remaining inmates. "Legal action will be taken to chase them, and tougher action will be applied to those who refuse to surrender," a justice minister said. The prison itself houses 2,600 people—more than double the maximum capacity of 1,054—who were angered when a blackout knocked out their water supply, meaning they couldn't bathe or use the bathroom.

Police officers and firefighters stand outside the front of Tanjung Gusta prison that was set ablaze by inmates during a prison riot in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, July 11, 2013.
Police officers and firefighters stand outside the front of Tanjung Gusta prison that was set ablaze by inmates during a prison riot in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, July 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
Police officers and soldiers give orders to others as they are deployed outside Tanjung Gusta prison that was partially set ablaze by inmates during a prison riot in Medan.
Police officers and soldiers give orders to others as they are deployed outside Tanjung Gusta prison that was partially set ablaze by inmates during a prison riot in Medan.   (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
Inmates look out from inside a burnt down office at Tanjung Gusta prison following a prison riot in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Inmates look out from inside a burnt down office at Tanjung Gusta prison following a prison riot in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
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