Indonesian police hunt inmates after mass prison break

An armed plainclothes policeman (L) secures the around around Siak prison in Siak Sri Indrapura in Riau province on May 11, 2019 after rioting and a fire broke out at the detention centre leading to a prison break. (AFP)
Updated 11 May 2019

Indonesian police hunt inmates after mass prison break

  • The prisoners fled the jail in Siak district on Sumatra island after rioting and a fire
  • Footage on local TV stations showed the facility engulfed in flames

JAKARTA: More than 100 inmates escaped from an Indonesian jail on Sumatra island on Saturday, police said, in the latest breakout to hit the country’s creaking prison system.
The prisoners fled the jail in Siak district on Sumatra island early in the morning after rioting and a fire broke out at the detention center.
Footage on local TV stations showed the facility engulfed in flames.
Authorities launched a massive manhunt and 115 prisoners had been recaptured by late morning, Riau province police chief Widodo Eko Prihastopo said.
Dozens of detainees from a prison population of more nearly 650 remained at large, he added.
“Police with assistance from the army and surrounding community are still searching for the rest,” Prihastopo said.
The rioting was triggered after guards beat several inmates who were caught using methamphetamine, police said.
Three detainees suffered stab wounds and a policeman was shot during the rioting, the local health office told AFP.
Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where inmates are often held in unsanitary conditions at overcrowded prisons.
There was a spate of breakouts in 2013, including one where about 150 prisoners — including terror convicts — escaped from a jail.


At least two killed as car ploughs into pedestrian zone in German town

Updated 01 December 2020

At least two killed as car ploughs into pedestrian zone in German town

  • The driver was arrested and the vehicle was impounded, Trier police tweeted
  • Two people have died, and 15 others had suffered serious injuries

BERLIN: At least two people including a child were killed and up to 15 injured on Tuesday when a speeding car ploughed into a pedestrian area in the western German city of Trier, authorities said.
Witnesses said people screamed in panic and some were thrown into the air by the car as it crashed through the shopping zone.
Police said several people had been killed, having earlier put the death toll at two, with more than 10 injured. The local newspaper, the Trierischer Volksfreund, put the death toll at four, including a child, but police did not confirm that figure.
"We have arrested one person, one vehicle has been secured," police said, adding that a 51-year-old German suspect from the Trier area was being questioned, police said.
Mayor Wolfram Leibe had rushed to the scene.
"We have a driver who ran amok in the city. We have two dead that we are certain of and up to 15 injured, some of them with the most severe injuries," he told public broadcaster SWR.
"I just walked through the city centre and it was just horrible. There is a trainer lying on the ground, and the girl it belongs to is dead," he told a news conference, with tears stopping him from speaking further.
He told broadcaster N-TV that people who saw the incident were "totally traumatised" and the street "looks a bit like after a war".
Leibe said he did not know the motive for the incident, which shocked residents of Germany's oldest town, founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago.
The Trierischer Volksfreund quoted an eyewitness as saying a Range Rover was driving at high speed and people had been thrown through the air. It said the car had Trier plates.
It reported that people screamed in panic when the car drove through the street.
Officers were scouring the area in search of evidence, backed by police dressed in flak jackets and carrying rifles. On the streets, Christmas lights twinkled incongruously.
Germany has tightened security on pedestrian zones across the country since a truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market in 2016 that killed 12 people and injured dozens.
In October 2019, a man opened fire on a synagogue in the city of Halle. After failing to get into the building he went on a rampage outside, killing two people.
In February this year a racist gunman killed nine migrants in Hanau near Frankfurt before killing his mother and himself. Only about a week later, a local man ploughed his car into a carnival parade in the town of Volkmarsen, injuring 61.
Germany has tightened measures to fight the coronavirus, with bars and restaurants closed, but shops and schools are still open.
"What happened in Trier is shocking. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the victims, with the numerous injured and with everyone who is currently on duty to care for the victims," Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said on Twitter.