Updated 08:10 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 19, 2020

2 Dead from Mass Prison Breakout in Brazil, Police on a Frantic Manhunt for Escaped Inmates [Details]

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Forty inmates have escaped in a massive prison breakout in Brazil.

The Globo news site reported from Pernambuco state justice authorities that 40 prisoners have escaped and that 36 had now been recaptured, two killed, one hospitalized, and one still remained at large, according to AFP (via Yahoo! News).

The prisoners escaped on Saturday by using explosives to blast a hole in the main wall around the Frei Damiao de Bozanno facility, located in the northeastern city of Recife, AFP further reported.

After a cloud of dust and debris settled, a group of men donning ordinary clothes poured into the narrow streets before police officials responded to the scene, the news outlet added.

Authorities spent hours before providing figures of the breakout, AFP noted. Brazilian media initially reported that as many as 100 prisoners could have escaped.

Police said on Globo television that one of those killed was shot after entering a local home, AFP wrote. A video footage showed the man lying in a pool of his own blood on the floor.

This was the second mass prison breakout from the same region in a week, AFP reported from the G1 news site. On Wednesday, 53 inmates broke away from the Professor Barreto Campelo prison near Recife. Only 13 of them had been caught by Sunday.

Another breakout also occurred on Jan. 12 in Natal, where 46 inmates dug a tunnel through the facility's walls, according to teleSUR.

According to a study by the Human Rights Watch conducted in 2015, jailbreak attempts often occur at Pernambuco prisons, the most overcrowded facility area in Brazil. Jails intended for 10,500 inmates maximum detain around 32,000 people. Plenty of prisoners have to sleep on the floor and "there are so few guards that officials turn day-to-day control over to selected inmates who are given keys to the prison's interior," AFP reported.

Prison authorities in Brazil have complained of a lack of resources to manage inmates, teleSUR noted. Over the weekend, Secretary of Resocialization Joao Carvalho told a newspaper in Recife that the latest jailbreak came after a chain of attempts to escape the facility.

"We need more investment in security in penitentiaries," Carvalho said, as quoted by the news outlet. Carvalho added that only 10 guards were in charge of overseeing more than 2000 inmates.

The country's national prison population has increased in recent years, now reaching over 500,000, teleSUR added. President Dilma Rousseff's administration is seeking to strengthen security while developing Brazil's justice system.

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