8-man prison break foiled

By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-12 07:03

It was probably meant to go down like an episode of the popular American TV series Prison Break.

But eight inmates planning an escape from a detention house in Hubei Province soon realized that talking too much about their planned breakout won't get them very far.

Police learned of the wannabe escapees' plan after being tipped off by other inmates at the Chibi jail in the Central China province, Chutian Metropolis News reported.

It was revealed that the eight inmates in Cell 8 planned to lure a policeman on duty into their cell by staging a fake fight, subdue him, and steal his keys.

The plotters were Liu Yaonong, 22, who was caught by local police two months ago for allegedly smuggling 300 g of drugs from South China's Guangdong Province and Zheng Hengxing, 16, who was in custody on robbery charges.

A special guard force was mobilized to neutralize the breakout attempt, following the tip-off Monday.

At 8:40 pm, police found Zheng had covered the security camera in Cell 8 with a towel.

Then came the sound of the staged fight coming from the cell.

Police called for the inmates to stop fighting without opening the cell door.

However, 20 minutes later, fighting again commenced much louder with screams of: "I will beat you to death" in another attempt to lure a guard into the cell.

At that point 16 armed policemen stormed the cell and restrained the eight inmates.

The inmates have confessed to the escape plot, authorities said. They face separate charges, and a thorough investigation is under way.

Min Yaguang, a top city police officer said the prison break attempt was destined to fail without a tip-off.

The detention center has several security defense systems, including some that cannot be deactivated by guards alone, he said.

In another development, a criminal surnamed Wang who tried to escape from a prison in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province late last year had two more years added to his prison sentence.

Jailed in 2003, Wang dug a tunnel in a boiler house and managed to evade capture for three days.

(China Daily 07/12/2007 page5)

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