ZAMBOANGA CITY – Over a dozen police detainees escaped from their overcrowded cell sparking a massive hunt Tuesday involving army soldiers and police forces in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.
Police said 16 detainees escped after sawing off their cell in Tetuan village before sunrise. No one was guarding the police station when the daring escape occurred. The detainees virtually walked away undetected, passing through the main door and dashed to freedom.
Dozens of soldiers from the Task Force Zamboanga helped police forces in tracking down the detainees. Security forces put up roadblocks and checkpoints and soldiers and policemen searched every vehicles passing through the highway.
Many of them carrying photos and names of those who escaped and one of the detainees was recaptured while trying to blend with passengers of a van who were shocked after he had been arrested at gunpoint.
A police van rushes on a busy road late Monday afternoon to transfer recaptured detainees in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner. Best available photo.)
By noontime, most of those who escaped had been recaptured while some of them opted to surrender peacefully. Three more detainees remain at large, but the hunt continues in an effort to fully recover and account all those who escaped, mostly facing various charges and awaiting court hearing.
Police authorities launched an investigation into the escape to determine how the detainees managed to smuggle a cutting saw into their cell and breakout from detention undetected, and why the cell was unguarded. (Mindanao Examiner)
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