At least 105 inmates escaped from a prison in eastern Brazil on Monday, local media reported.

Thirty-three of the inmates from Romeu Goncalves Abrantes prison in the city of Joao Pessoa were recaptured soon afterwards.

The fugitives were helped by people outside, who blew up the gate of the prison, according to the daily Folha de Sao Paulo.

The helpers wanted to release four inmates, who had been convicted of robberies of money transport vehicles and bank tellers, the news portal G1 reported.

The fugitives shot a police officer in his head and currently in serious condition.

Escapes and mutinies are common in Brazil’s overcrowded prisons, which hold more than 726,000 inmates, about twice as many as they were built for.

The Romeu Goncalves Abrantes prison had room for 654 inmates but housed 680.


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