UPDATE: KZN police recapture 22 escaped prisoners, hunt still on for 23 others

Police have launched a manhunt after 31 awaiting trial prisoners escaped from a truck that was transporting them from the Pietermaritzburg New Prison to the Pietermaritzburg Margistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning.

Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter.

DURBAN - Police in KwaZulu-Natal are searching for 23 awaiting trial prisoners who escaped from a truck that was transporting them from the Pietermaritzburg New Prison to the local magistrate's court.

The police's Jay Naicker said that 45 prisoners were being driven by two police officers when they were stopped by a double cab bakkie with five heavily armed men.

The suspects pointed guns at the officers and forced them to open the rear of the truck.

Naicker explained that more than 30 prisoners initially managed to escape but 22 were now back in their custody.

"Thirty-one of the 45 awaiting trial prisoners escaped in the process. A manhunt is under way for the escapees."

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.