21 Oct 2009

Prisoners in PNG attempt to escape jail for not being fed

2:36 pm on 21 October 2009

The commanding officer for a Papua New Guinea jail where 487 prisoners briefly escape says they did so because they were not fed for two days.

The 800 inmates at Baisu Jail outside Mount Hagen in the Western Highland Province were left hungry after the contract expired for the company which supplies the prisoners' food.

The commanding officer for the jail, Chief superintendent Simon Sobaim, says they were called back to their cells after officers fired warning shots.

He says the Police Commissioner asked the former contractor to return to feed the prisoners.

"So yesterday afternoon the prison supplier supplied the food rations yesterday afternoon and the prisoners had their dinner last night; the first dinner after two days."

Chief Superintendent Sobaim says the former contractor will continue to supply food until its contract is renewed or a new one signed by a rival company.