Baisu prison death toll up to six

National, Normal

THE number of prisoners shot dead by Correctional Services officers at Baisu jail in the Western Highlands has gone up to six.
Five were shot dead in the breakout last Friday while one of the seven, who were seriously wounded, died at the Mt Hagen General Hospital on Sunday night.
Metropolitan police commander Chief Insp John Kale said yesterday the six dead were among 31 prisoners who were recaptured in a combined police and CS operation conducted since last Friday afternoon.
A total of 57 prisoners had overpowered two guards and dashed for freedom.
Kale said the 26 still at large included remandees and were considered dangerous.
He said police were investigating why so many prisoners broke out although some Correctional Services officers claimed it was related to the dysentery-type illness at the jail which claimed three lives last week with many others seriously ill and were on medication.
Meanwhile, Kale had appealed to people not to harbour criminals, adding that it was a crime to do so.
He said people should, instead, be helping police to recapture those still at large.
Mt Hagen General Hospital chief executive officer Dr James Kintwa said yesterday they would inspect the Baisu jail to establish the cause of last week’s three deaths.
There were 183 prisoners in the jail – 38 women and 145 male prisoners.
Fifty prisoners were transferred to Barawaghi jail in Chimbu last Saturday.
According to CS officers, other prisoners would be transferred to other jails in the highlands region later.