Source: Daily Graphic Online - Calm has returned to the Kumasi Central Prison, with revamped security, following an attempted jailbreak last Wednesday night by the inmates...
The Director-General of Prisons, Mrs Matilda Baffour-Awuah, was, at the time of going to press, locked up in a closed-door meeting with the management of the facility on the possible transfer of some of the inmates from the facility.
The Kumasi Central Prison, originally built to accommodate less than 700 people, currently houses 2,140 inmates.
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prisons Service, Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) Mr James Annan, said at 8 p.m. yesterday, fire broke out in one of the cells of the prison.
As a result, he said, the cell was opened for the inmates to go into the open, while the wardens tried to put out the fire with fire extinguishers.
He said while the wardens were at it, the other inmates, fearing that the fire could spread to their cells, started agitating and asked that they too be allowed to go into the open.
He said the inmates who were out managed to break open the doors to the cells, enabling those inside to troop out, thereby compromising security.
Mr Annan said the inmates then decided to attempt a jailbreak by attacking the officers on duty.
“They broke into our offices, damaged computers, fridges, files, fans and furniture,” he said.
He said the swift arrival of the police and some military men from the Fourth Infantry Battalion quickly brought the situation under control.
The police used tear gas and rubber bullets on the inmates to bring the situation under control.
He said investigations were ongoing to establish the cause of the fire. Mr Annan, however, ruled out an electrical fault resulting from the ongoing load shedding, explaining, “We do not experience load shedding here.” He could not tell if there had been any escape during the incident.
“We are now assessing the damage caused and conducting a head count to determine if anybody is missing,” he said.
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