Hundreds Escape from Indonesian Prison

Some are convicted terrorists


JAKARTA—Indonesian authorities were hunting scores of escaped inmates, including convicted terrorists, following a massive prison breakout in one of the country's largest cities.

A fire that erupted during the Thursday night breakout had been extinguished, national police spokesman Ronny Sompie told reporters, though two guards and three prisoners were dead from smoke inhalation.

"The situation is now under control," Mr. Sompie said. Hundreds of police and soldiers had been deployed at the Tanjung Gusta prison and around the city of Medan to track down escapees. Of the estimated 240 inmates who escaped, 64 had been recaptured by early Friday afternoon, Djoko Suyanto, the coordinating minister for politics, justice and defense, told reporters.

"Riots broke out because of prisoners' anger over a power blackout and lack of water," Mr. Djoko said. "The prison's diesel generator isn't sufficient."