Four prisoners flee Russian jail

Moscow, May 19 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Four inmates jailed for murder and burglary have escaped from a prison in Russia by digging a 20-metre-long tunnel, investigators said.

The incident took place in Irkutsk region in East Siberia.

The prisoners escaped from an industrial area in Markovo village, where they worked as carpenters, by digging a tunnel, a statement said.

Prison authorities noticed that the inmates were missing during a morning headcount Saturday. The prison chief has been suspended for negligence, an official said.

More than 2,500 police officers have been deployed in a search operation. Police have blocked the roads leading to Irkutsk.

Earlier this month, a murder suspect with alleged mafia connections escaped from a pre-trial detention facility by making a hole in the ceiling and climbing through an air vent. He was later detained by police in a park.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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