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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Nine prisoners escape from Berlin prison since Thursday

One prisoner turned himself in today.

A PRISONER WHO escaped from a Berlin prison last week turned himself in today.

On Thursday, four men broke down part of a concrete wall at Ploetzensee prison with a hammer and angle grinder from their prison workshop.

Ploetzensee penitentiary View of the 'Justizvollzugsanstalt' (Facility for the Execution of Justice, JVA) Ploetzensee during the morning in Berlin Source: DPA/PA Images

The convicts – doing time for theft, extortion and aggravated assault – broke out through a ventilation shaft before slipping underneath a barbed-wire fence.

A surveillance camera captured the escape, but it took 41 minutes for wardens to sound the alarm.

Four prisoners fled from Ploetzensee prison A video still from a surveillance camera depicts a prison break at the Ploetzensee penitentiary Source: DPA/PA Images

It’s now understood that in total nine people escaped the city prison in walkouts and jailbreaks over the past week.

Five other prisoners who work outside the prison during the day under the open-prison policy – but are supposed to return there overnight – also went missing.

Two of them escaped through a cell window overnight on Monday even though they could have walked out of the prison door the next morning. One of those prisoners was caught the following day.

Today, city justice minister Dirk Behrendt said one of the prisoners who escaped on Thursday has now turned himself in and will be sent to a higher-security facility.

There have been calls for Behrendt’s resignation with many people mocking the penal facility’s “open door” policy on social media.

In a statement Behrendt said that “annoyance” over the lapses was “understandable” and all security precautions at Ploetzensee will be reviewed.

Additional reporting by AP and AFP

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