Indonesia mass breakout at Tanjung Gusta jail

Karishma Vaswani explains that a riot broke out following a protest over power shortages

Related Stories

At least 150 prisoners have escaped from a jail in the Indonesian city of Medan on the island of Sumatra.

The breakout came during a riot that officials say may have been prompted by a power cut that knocked out supplies of pumped water.

Hundreds of police and soldiers have been trying to restore order at the prison, and combing the surrounding area for the escaped inmates.

Some of the fugitives were reportedly convicted of terrorism charges.

"The prisoners were annoyed by a blackout and problems getting water, which they said happens often at the prison," Heru Prakoso, a spokesman for North Sumatra province police told Agence France Presse.

"Prison officials told us that the inmates then set fire to the facility."

Some prisoners also reportedly seized guns and hurled bottles at their wardens and, according to police, about 15 prison officials were taken hostage.

The Tanjung Gusta Prison is known to have problems with overcrowding. It is thought to have held 2,400 prisoners despite having an official capacity of 400.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules

  • Painting from Rothschild collectionDark arts Watch

    The 50-year fight to recover paintings looted by the Nazis

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsCrossed lines

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree


  • 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statueClick Watch

    Using drones to 3D map the famous Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.