Sao Paulo: At least 152 inmates broke out of a prison in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state, following a riot that set fire to part of the prison. The riot, that took place in Bauru on Tuesday, is in no way related to a recent spate of violent incidents at prisons in other parts of the country, Military Police Col. Flavio Kitazume said at a press conference.
The prisons authority said separately in a statement that 152 inmates fled and police succeeded in recapturing about 100 of the escapees.
Brazilian police were hunting for the rest 52 inmates.
Inmates set fire to one of the cellblocks before escaping from the Penitentiary Progression Center, a semi-open prison in the town of Bauru, northwest of Sao Paulo, the national prisons authority said.
The revolt broke out in protest after a prison guard confiscated a mobile phone from an inmate, it said.”The prisoners started a commotion and some took advantage of it to flee,” a source in the prisons authority told.
Inmates set fire to the roof of the cellblock, but firefighters soon put out the blaze, the source said.
More than 130 prisoners have been reported killed in Brazil this year, many of them beheaded, in a series of bloody prison riots blamed on drug gangs.