A riot erupted at the central prison in Buri Ram after about 100 prisoners broke furniture and smashed windows and set a fire over rumours of a Covid-19 outbreak on Sunday, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said.
A number of prisoners escaped, he said, but seven have so far been recaptured.
Mr Somsak said the riot began at about 11.45am in the dining hall.
About 100 inmates, 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.
“The fact is that none of the prisoners in Buri Ram were infected [with the coronavirus] — they only started this rumour to find some supporters,” the minister said.
The breakout prompted prison officials to alert the governor and ask police and military personnel to set up checkpoints to catch the escaped inmates.
Police said five people were initially reported hurt in the incident. The situation had been brought under control but details were not yet clear.
(Source: – Bangkok Post)