Six convicted criminals in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan have escaped from prison by digging a tunnel, authorities said Wednesday.
Wardens discovered the tunnel during a routine inspection around midnight and found out after a roll call that they were six prisoners short, the regional prison service said in a statement.
Images shared on social media channels linked to Russian law enforcement agencies showed pictures and videos of the tunnel used in the prison break. Its dimensions were not immediately reported.
“Four out of six [fugitives] had lengthy sentences for drug offenses, two for murder,” an unnamed security source told the state-run TASS news agency. One of the prisoners was reportedly a Tajik native, while the rest were from Dagestan.
Interfax reported, citing Dagestani police, that they were serving between eight and 15 years.
The Dagestan prison service said its entire personnel has been deployed to help find the fugitives. An all-points-bulletin has been issued to police departments in Dagestan and its neighboring regions.
Law enforcement authorities opened a criminal case into negligence against prison officials after the daring escape.