Most PNG jail escapers shot dead were on remand

5:08 pm on 28 February 2016

The police commander in Papua New Guinea's Lae says 10 of the 12 escaping prisoners shot dead on Friday were on remand.

PNG police on patrol

PNG police on patrol Photo: AFP

Two had been convicted.

In total 87 prisoners got out of the Buimo jail and 18 have been recaptured.

The 12 dead were shot by guards at the prison.

The chief superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr told the Post Courier most of the escapees are serious offenders.

He said one of those shot dead was convicted over the Black Cat trail attack in 2014 in which two PNG porters were slashed to death and others were badly injured along with some of the trekkers.

Of the 57 inmates still on the run 43 are remandees and 14 serving sentences.

Mass escapes are common from PNG jails with Buimo featuring in several large escapes in recent years.

The escape of 79 inmates in June last year was due to negligence by prison staff according to the head of PNG Corrections.

Many of those prisoners were also on remand.

Remand prisoners are typically housed with the convicted inmates at Buimo.