October 3, 2023

Watch: Three prisoners on the run after fleeing van on way to Auckland’s Mt Eden prison, police hunt underway

Watch: Three prisoners have escaped from a prison escort van.

Three men are on the run after escaping a van taking them to Auckland’s Mt Eden prison on Friday.

A witness at the scene spotted the men fleeing the van while on the Southern Motorway.

“The three prisoners literally sprinted across the motorway where the Mount Wellington highway connects to the State Highway 1 part,” they told Newshub.

Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales told Newshub the man had been remanded into custody in court in the morning before they absconded from a First Security prisoner escort van while being transferred to Mt Eden Corrections Facility in the afternoon.

He said police were informed immediately and are looking for the men.

“Public safety is our top priority. Any escape is unacceptable and an immediate review into how this incident occurred will be carried out.”

Director of Deployment for Tāmaki Makaurau Police Superintendant Shanan Gray told Newshub police are “conducting a number of enquiries”.

“The incident occurred at around 2:40pm near the Ellerslie-Panmure Highway off-ramp when the transport van was heading north towards the Mt Eden Corrections Facility,” he said in a statement.

“The three remand prisoners have fled on foot towards the South-Eastern Highway where they have stolen a member of the public’s vehicle.

“Police have since been notified and our staff are making enquiries to locate these individuals, including support from the Police air support unit.”

People who saw the escape are asked to contact Police as soon as possible on their 105 phone service.

Supt Gray added this is an ongoing incident and further updates will be provided once they become available.

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