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)
Trending On Reuters
A website with links to a Turkish far-left group which has been holding a prosecutor captive in Istanbul said on its Twitter feed late on Tuesday that the hostage had been shot and injured, whilst his three captors had been killed. Full Article | Related Story
- U.S. says ready to work past deadline for Iran nuclear deal if needed
- Heavy clashes on Saudi-Yemen border; Hadi government pleads for troops
- Lufthansa says co-pilot told flight school of depression
- Electrical fault corrected, 'Big Bang' collider to restart soon
- Armed prisoner who fled Virginia hospital captured in Washington
China to punish Tencent, Youku Tudou, other video sites for pornography Full Article