Surveillance video released by CCTV of Tuesday’s prison break in Heilongjiang raises the question of how escaping from a prison can be so seemingly easy.
The footage shows the three inmates, Gao Yulun, Wang Damin and Li Haiwei escaping (strolling) out of a prison with apparently only one guard, but ample police uniforms.
First, Gao Yulun is shown being escorted out of his cell by a guard. The cell door remains open, allowing his accomplices to follow along.
The next shot shows Gao surprising and strangling the guard in another room of the prison as his two fellow inmates rush in to help.
Finally, the inmates are seen walking out of the prison door wearing police jackets and uniforms less than 30 minutes after they first left their cells. In all that time they did not encounter another guard.
Cheng Lei, an associate professor at Renmin University, sees a few problems here. He says that the prison is supposed to be a secure facility with locked doors and patrols by armed guards. Dangerous prisoners are even supposed to be kept handcuffed.
“It’s amazing to see how many safety regulations prescribed the Ministry of Public Security are ignored in practice. At the time it looks like there were not enough guards on patrol,” he says.
Two of the escapees have already been captured. Gao Yulun remains at large.
[Images via CCTV]