Prisoners escape in Thailand’s jail riot hinh anh 1Security forces search for escapees of the riot (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) - A number of inmates escaped from a central prison in Thailand’s northeastern province of Buri Ram, following a riot caused by about 100 hard-core prisoners on March 29, said the country’s Minister of Justice Somsak Thepsutin.
According to Somsak, the protest, stemming from rumours concerning the COVID-19 outbreak, began at about 11.45am in the dining hall while warders were busy refurbishing an isolation cell for inmates infected with communicable diseases. 
The prisoners, some of them facing a life sentence, set fire to the dining hall and demolished the visiting room for relatives. Thick smoke was seen billowing from the prison into the sky.
A number of the protesters escaped during the riot, but the exact number was yet to be confirmed, Somsak said. 
So far, seven of them have been recaptured. Inmates who were not involved in the riot have been confined to their sleeping quarters. 
The breakout prompted prison officials to alert the governor and ask police and military personnel to set up checkpoints to intercept the escapees. Director-General of the Corrections Department of Thailand Naras Savestanan had rushed to Buri Ram to investigate the case./.