Dozens of prisoners filmed escaping from jail before truck is hijacked

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Around 50 prisoners have escaped a jail in South Africa and hijacked vehicles as well as taking a school hostage, according to reports.

Footage shows the inmates from Malmesbury Correctional Centre running in all different directions near a Toyota dealership.

Some fled in cars, others have taken over a school with terrified children being filmed whispering and hiding under tables.

The exact number of inmates on the loose is not yet known. It is understood they were awaiting trial.

Police have been seen chasing after the prisoners with the deafening sound of gunshots being heard and smoke billowing in the air.

One person wrote on social media: “A number of prisoners have escaped from Old prison opposite Malmesbury police station, some hijacked a small Kia Bakkie and some at Swartland High Schools hostage situation.”

Another added: “45 prisoners escaped from Malmesbury prison. Please be safe if you around the area. They could be anywhere.”

And a third said: “About 50 inmates just escaped from Malmesbury prison across the Malmesbury SAPD a Hyundai H100 reg nr CJ14753 was hijacked.

“The ones in the truck is heading direction Durbanville. Pics to follow. Please be on the lookout if heading those directions and inform SAPD.”

Police are understood to have launched a huge manhunt with neighbouring emergency services.

One high school principal said he had spotted several suspected inmates on the premises, with some taken into custody.

Other footage circulating online shows two men lying on their stomachs with their hands behind their backs as they are approached by police and led into the back of a vehicle.

There are claims 14 have been rearrested.

Correctional services spokesperson Logan Maistry said: “The search party including detectives, on foot and in vehicles, has already covered much ground with the rearrest of several escapees.

“Members of the public are advised not try to apprehend the escapees but to contact the following numbers with information:

“As the search intensifies, additional support will be summoned.

“Meanwhile, an investigation is underway to determine how the escape occurred.”

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa told local media he was aware of information that a light delivery vehicle was hijacked and that traffic officers were placed on high alert.

One woman wrote: “Both my parents are Correctional Officials in Malmesbury. One minute they were off duty and the next phones are ringing, prisoners escaped and they’re back in uniform. C H A O S.”

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