Mexican inmates tunnel under prison wall to escape

MEXICO CITY — Fourteen of 29 inmates are still on the run after they escaped by tunneling underneath a Mexican prison wall, authorities said Sunday.

The inmates escaped Wednesday from a prison in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas state secretariat of security said Saturday.

According to Mexican authorities, the inmates used a tunnel that was 5 meters (16.4 feet) deep and 40 meters (131 feet) long.

During the escape, one of the inmates shot a man during a carjacking.

The Tamaulipas’ state secretariat of security said 20 of the prisoners were incarcerated for “common” crimes such as robbery, assault, homicide and kidnapping. Nine were incarcerated for federal crimes such as drug trafficking and carrying weapons. Of those nine, four were members of organized crime organizations.

The prison was built in the 1940s and Mexican authorities say it is outdated and lacks appropriate security measures.

The government of Tamaulipas has been looking at the possibility of building a new jail so it can close Cedes Victoria, the prison where the inmates escaped.

After the escape, security officials destroyed unauthorized shelters constructed by inmates on prison grounds and searched cells.

In reaction to those efforts, a riot broke out in the prison Friday night. Three inmates were stabbed to death and one was injured, officials said. The injured inmate has been transferred to a different jail in the state.

The inmates set debris on fire during the riot, but the flames were put out within an hour.

The tunnel was sealed with concrete on Saturday.