Sixty-three inmates who escaped after overpowering guards at a South African prison have been recaptured – but six remain on the run.
The prisoners, who were awaiting trial, made a break from Malmesbury Correctional Centre in the Western Cape on Friday at about midday.
“The escapees overpowered officials, took the keys and locked three officials in a cell and opened other cells before escaping through the main entrance and over the roof,” the department of correctional services said in a statement.
There were 451 inmates and 20 officials on duty at the prison 41 miles (66km) along the west coast from Cape Town.
Police were deployed to the area to search for them on foot and in vehicles, and managed to arrest “several escapees”, police spokesman Novela Potelwa told The South African later in the afternoon.
On Friday evening the correctional department said 63 out of the 69 prisoners had been recaptured, with the final six still being hunted.
The prisoners’ escape was captured by a member of the public who was in his car outside the prison.
In the video several men wearing yellow prison uniforms could be seen running from the jail as shots are heard, and he said some “even hijacked a vehicle”.
Further footage showed police arresting a prisoner who was found on a highway under a truck, while another video showed two other prisoners being placed in a police van after being found outside a house.
People in the area were warned to not attempt to apprehend the prisoners.
An extensive search was launched by the Department of Correctional Services, local police and officers from neighbouring police forces, correctional services spokesman Logan Maistry said.
South Africa’s prisons are notorious for their entrenched gang culture, with overstretched staff often targeted in overcrowded prisons, while rehabilitation is difficult.