SAO PAULO — Brazilian police were hunting for 52 inmates who broke out of a jail on Tuesday in the latest unrest to hit the country’s overcrowded prisons.
Inmates set fire to one of the cellblocks before escaping from the Penitentiary Progression Centre, a semi-open prison in the town of Bauru, northwest of Sao Paulo, the national prisons authority said.
The revolt broke out in protest after a prison guard confiscated a mobile phone from an inmate, it said.
"The prisoners started a commotion and some took advantage of it to flee," said a source in the prisons authority.
Inmates set fire to the roof of the cellblock, but firefighters soon put out the blaze, the source said.
The prisons authority said separately in a statement that 152 inmates fled and 100 were captured by military police.
More than 130 prisoners have been reported killed in Brazil this year, many of them beheaded, in a series of bloody prison riots blamed on drug gangs. — AFP