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174 Inmates Escape Haiti Prison

  • VOA News

A guard lies dead inside the Civil Prison after a jail break in the coastal town of Arcahaiea, Haiti, Oct. 22, 2016.

A guard lies dead inside the Civil Prison after a jail break in the coastal town of Arcahaiea, Haiti, Oct. 22, 2016.

Scores of inmates from a Haitian prison escaped Saturday after killing an officer and stealing weapons, authorities said.

Judge Henry Claude Louis-Jean said others were injured in the prison break that occurred in Arcahaie, a coastal town about 50 kilometers north of Haiti's capital.

With the support of U.N. peacekeepers, a manhunt was launched to track down the 174 escaped inmates. Police set up checkpoints along roads near the prison.

Eleven inmates have been caught, but police are still searching for the other escapees.

"One guard was killed during the incident. Three prisoners were wounded, including one who died as a consequence of his wounds," Camille Edouard Junior, Haiti's minister of justice, told Reuters.

According to police, the inmates attacked officers after they were released from an overcrowded holding pen to bathe.

Edouard Junior said a prisoner died after he hit his head falling off a wall during the attack.

The guard's body was still at the prison in the aftermath of the attack, reports said.

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti has warned American citizens to avoid the Arcahaie area.

Reports say overpopulated Haitian prisons are common, and some people spend years in pre-trial detention.

Officials did not say how many escapees from the Haiti prison had been convicted of serious crimes and how many were awaiting trial.

Authorities asked residents of the area to obey police instructions as the search intensifies.

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