Chile: Over 300 female inmates flee Prison after massive quake


During the course of a life threatening disaster most people run for shelter, but what happens to those locked up in prisons and are prisons prepared for such emergencies.

According to the Gaurdian, an earthquake of magnitude 8.2 jolted northern Chile, triggering a tsunami alert and thousands of people from coastal areas. At least five people were killed and more than 300 women escaped from a coastal prison.
The female inmates took advantage of the huge earthquake that hit the northern coast of Chile and escaped late Tuesday, officials said. According to NBC news, the prisoners set fire to the site after the massive jailbreak, which happened as the prison was being evacuated.

PDI, one of Chile’s two police branches, said at least 16 prisoners attempting to escape have been recaptured.
“We have taken various public safety measures due to the mass escape of over 300 female inmates at their prison in Iquique. Personnel from the armed forces are working in collaboration with police under the leadership of the government to offer security and peace of mind to the residents of lquigue”, said Chile’s minister of interior, Rodrigo Penailillo.

This is not the first time that prison officials across the globe have been tested over their preparedness, when it comes to natural disasters.


During Hurricane Katrina, Orleans Parish Prison, was faced with having to protect and evacuate its prisoners. With inadequate or non-existent emergency plans, the prison was unprepared to handle the storm and its aftermath. Prisoners were abandoned by guards and left stuck in locked cells while the levees broke and water began to flood the prison. Backup generators failed, leaving prisoners in darkness, some in flooded cells with water chest high. Prisoners were deprived of food, water, ventilation, and rescue.

And in central Philippines, Tacloban City Jail was hit by a super typhon and flooded the prison, smashing open the main gate. Winds blew the prison roof, hundreds of prisoners scaled iron bars and jumped down to escape through the swamp.



Read more here:


Over 300 female inmates flee Chile prison after massive quake

Over 100 prisoners missing as Philippine typhoon zone criminals swim out

Escaped prisoners return to a Tacloban jail

Locked Up and Left Behind: Hurricane Irene and the Prisoners on New York’s Rikers Island

About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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