Home > News > World
Thursday April 3, 2014 MYT 7:00:02 AM
Thursday April 3, 2014 MYT 7:00:57 AM
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Nearly 300 female prisoners took advantage of a massive earthquake to escape from a jail in northern Chile, although many have since returned, authorities said on Wednesday.
Local police said the prisoners fled after an offshore 8.2-magnitude earthquake that shook northern Chile on Tuesday, killing six people and triggering a tsunami with 2-meter (7-foot) waves.
The jail, situated in the port town of Iquique, west of the Atacama Desert, was evacuated as it was at risk of being inundated by sea water. Police said 293 of the 320 inmates had escaped.
The town was in darkness at the time, with the electricity supply cut off by the quake. Gabriel Silber, a lawmaker in Chile's lower house of Congress said the women escaped when a prison wall collapsed.
"There were structural weaknesses in the building," said Silber. "It was the weak point in what should have been an impeccable evacuation process. Fortunately, they are low security inmates."
The government sent the armed forces in as a "preventative measure," but police said 131 of the prisoners had voluntarily returned by Wednesday afternoon.
Local media said many had used the opportunity to visit their families before giving themselves up.
(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien, editing by G Crosse)
Lagarde says still much work to do in Greek debt talks
U.S. hopes Chinese island-building will spur Asian response
French foreign minister to visit Israel, Palestinian territories as part of efforts to revive peace talks
‘Lucy’ may not be our mum, say scientists
Batman May Appear in 'Suicide Squad' After All
Have a 'whale' of a good time in Queensland
Avago nears deal for Broadcom
Visa threatens to ditch FIFA as sponsor dismay mounts
Online retailer opens warehouse, distribution hub in Demak Laut
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)