MEXICO – Mexican authorities have detained a prison director and two other prison officials after 132 inmates escaped from the facility Monday, officials said.
The attorney general for Coahuila state had asked a judge to detain the three prison leaders for 30 days while an investigation into the escape from the border city of Piedras Negras began.
Piedras Negras is across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, and about 150 miles from San Antonio.
The inmates escaped one by one from what’s known as a social rehabilitation center, a minimum-security facility, by using a 7-foot-long tunnel, according to a statement from the state attorney general. The escapees then cut through a chain-link fence and ran through an empty lot.
The tunnel, which was about 4 feet wide and nearly 10 feet deep, began inside a wood shop inside in the prison, authorities said.
Of the escapees, 86 were federal prisoners and 46 were incarcerated on local charges.
Mexican authorities were offering a reward of nearly $16,000 for information leading to the capture of each escaped inmate.
In Eagle Pass on Monday night, a woman on the north part of town told police that three men knocked on her door, asking for clothes and water, Emily Baucum, a reporter for CNN affiliate WOAI, told HLN. The men were polite and the woman obliged with what they asked for, but only after they thanked her and left did she consider the possibility that they were among the escapees.
The area’s sheriff told WOAI that there were no incidents related to escapees reported overnight.
Local and federal authorities are searching for the inmates, and police have set up blockades on roads leading to the Mexico-U.S. border.
This escape comes after another one in February when 30 inmates fled after a riot in a prison in Monterrey, Mexico.