French prisoners use table leg to flee 14th century jail

COLMAR, France Thu Jan 3, 2013 1:30am IST

Related Topics

COLMAR, France (Reuters) - Three prisoners used a table leg to pierce a hole in the roof of their cell in a 14th century French penitentiary and escape in the early ours of New Year's Day, a regional prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The three climbed onto the roof of the Colmar prison in eastern France and from there entered an adjoining courthouse, where they fled through a side door.

The escape highlighted overcrowding and the advanced state of disrepair of an institution originally built in 1316 as a convent, according to prosecutor Bernard Lebeau.

"It appears that the ceilings in the cells are made of a crumbly material that was attacked with a makeshift tool made of objects from the cell itself, notably a table leg," he told journalists in Colmar.

The prisoners, aged 19 to 24, had been jailed on charges of assault and vandalism. Two were detained awaiting trial while the third was serving a two-year term.

Poor conditions at the Colmar prison were flagged last week in an independent report commissioned by a lawyer, who said he would sue to make local authorities repair the facility.

(Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac; Writing by Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

MIDDLE EAST CRISIS

WORLD SHOWCASE

Taiwan Blast

Taiwan Blast

Taiwan gas blast kills 22, injures 270, shoots flames high into the air.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine premier stays on, envoys agree on crash site route.  Full Article 

A Tight Lid

A Tight Lid

Thai junta gives security forces majority in interim legislature.  Full Article 

Muzzling Dissent

Muzzling Dissent

China trial of Uighur scholar within weeks, imam reported killed  Full Article 

Medical Advancement

Medical Advancement

Hungarian scientists aim for prototype of cancer surgery device  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage