Authorities search for escaped Haiti prison inmates

By Julia Marnin
Correspondent 

After a riot in a Haitian prison, 174 inmates escaped, leaving a guard dead and a few others injured. Authorities have captured a dozen of the escaped prisoners and are continuing to search for the rest, according to ABC.

The prison break occurred in Arcahaie, a prison that held 266 inmates, ABC reported.

United Nations peacekeepers are accompanying the Haitian authorities on their hunt for the prisoners, according to Reuters. Checkpoints have been established on Haiti’s roads to find the escapees. Since the Arcahaie inmates do not wear prison uniforms, it has been difficult for the authorities to locate them. However, many suspects have been detained at these checkpoints because they did not have proper identification.

According to CNN, SWAT teams and defense forces have also joined the police in the search. ABC reported that along with the checkpoints, cars and boats are also being searched in order to conduct a thorough manhunt.

CNN reported Haiti’s Prime Minister’s office issued a statement, saying that “heavily armed individuals” caused the prison break. Gunfire between the police and the inmates erupted during the disturbance, according to ABC.

The uproar began after the inmates were released from holding and were permitted to bathe. Chaos ensued as some of the inmates broke into an area where access was only granted to the guards. The prisoners stole the guard’s firearms, which included at least five rifles and other deadly weapons, according to Reuters.

“One guard was killed during the incident,” Haiti’s Minister of Justice Camille Edouard Junior told Reuters. “Three prisoners were wounded, including one who died as a consequence of his wounds.”

The guard was killed from a shot fired by one of the inmates as a result to the stolen weaponry. His body was found bloodied and motionless after the prison break was over. One of the inmates died during the breakout after his attempt to climb over one of the prison’s walls. He fell off the wall and fatally hit his head, Reuters reported.

According to CNN, the U.S. embassy stationed near Haiti’s capital sent out a warning to American citizens about “a violent prison break in Arcahaie,” and told residents to keep away.

Arcahaie is located in a coastal town in Northern Haiti. It is located 46 kilometers away from the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, ABC reported.