Taiwan prison inmates take warden hostage in escape attempt

Six inmates at a prison in southern Taiwan have taken the warden and head prison guard hostage in an escape attempt.

According to the official Central News Agency, a scuffle reportedly broke out between two groups of prisoners at Daliao Prison in Kaohsiung county on Wednesday afternoon. Witnesses said two corrections officers were taken hostage by prisoners armed with scissors.

The prisoners then took the hostages to the armoury and seized four T65K2 rifles and 177 rifle bullets, and six handguns and 46 handgun bullets.

The prisoners called a Taiwanese media agency and told it to relay their demand for two getaway cars to the authorities.

Among the six inmates, who are mostly serving sentences for drug possession and robbery, is Cheng Li-teh, a leader of a local triad known as the Bamboo Union.

The inmates originally captured head guard Wang Shih-tsang and Deputy Warden Lai Chen-jung. Warden Chen Shih-chih volunteered to take Lai’s place, and Lai was freed. Negotiations are still underway.