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)
Magnitude 5.7 quake hits northeast of Santiago, Chile
Quake shakes Chile's central region, no injuries
Chile mines dodge quake harm, but Collahuasi workers evacuated
Magnitude 6.6 quake hits central Chile, no major damage
Strong quake jolts Chile's North, no major damage
Venezuela's Machado vows to fight assassination plot charges
Ebola cases near 16,000, Sierra Leone to overtake Liberia soon with most cases – WHO
Mexico president vows to reform police, battle organised crime
Spain backs anti-graft laws as Rajoy tries to clean party image
Brazil sets more realistic budget goal with new minister
Calm comes to troubled Ferguson, mass arrests at California rallies
Twelvetrees ready to grasp his chance after crazy year
French trial over hit-and-run death suspended after lawyer attacked
TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice All-Inclusive Resorts
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)