At least 172 inmates break out of Haitian prison
Updated: 2016-10-24 10:21
A handcuffed man, one of 174 fugitive inmates who had escaped the night before from a prison, sits handcuffed on the back of a pick-up truck after local police and members of MINUSTAH arrested him, in Arcahaie, Haiti, October 23, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
SANTO DOMINGO - At least 172 prisoners broke out of a prison in west Haiti, leaving two people dead amid an exchange of gunfire, local media reported on Sunday.
Inmates mutinied Saturday afternoon at a prison in Arcahaie, a city northwest of the capital Port-au-Prince, in the country's West Department.
"The mutineers broke into an area used by the guards and seized at least five guns and other weapons," the daily Haiti Libre said.
The daily cited prison chief Heurtelou Paul Colson as saying 172 of the 266 prisoners escaped, while one inmate fell to his death while trying to scale a wall and a police officer was killed in the gunfight.
Another two police officers and two inmates were injured, he said.
Haiti's minister of justice, Camille Edouard Jr., identified one of the prisoners, a convicted kidnapper named Yvener Carelus, as being behind the mutiny.
Carelus, who was arrested, "planned the escape from the inside with some complicity," the minister said.
Carelus was formerly incarcerated at Croix-des-Bouquets, where some 200 inmates broke out in a similarly violent uprising in 2014.
Special units of Haiti's National Police (PNH) have launched a manhunt to capture the escapees, setting up road blocks around the facility.
However, inmates at the prison "do not wear uniforms, complicating the search," the daily added.