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

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records


  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 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.