Police continue search for 19 prisoners who escaped while en route to court

Two police officers, who were transporting 45 prisoners, were confronted by five heavily armed men.

Police have launched a manhunt after awaiting trial prisoners escaped from a truck transporting them from the Pietermaritzburg (PMB) New Prison to the PMB Magistrates Court on 28 April 2021. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN -The search is continuing for 19 trial-awaiting prisoners who escaped from a police truck en route to the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday from the local correctional services facility.

Two police officers, who were transporting 45 prisoners, were confronted by five heavily armed men.

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

Thirty-one out of 45 trial-awaiting prisoners initially managed to escape from a police truck earlier on Wednesday.

But 12 have since been found and police now have 26 prisoners from the group back in their custody.

Local ward councillor Ross Strachan has urged residents to be vigilant.

“I want to plead to residents and community members to keep yourself safe while these prisoners are on the loose, until they are all arrested, please make sure that you are safe."

Strachan has called for an investigation into the matter, saying the ease with which prisoners managed to escape was concerning.

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