Great escape

RIO DE JANEIRO (Brazil): Eighty-four prisoners escaped from a maximum security prison in north-eastern Brazil early Sunday through a 50 metre tunnel they dug to the jungle outside, police said. In a breakout reminiscent of the 1963 Hollywood hit `The Great Escape,' prisoners burrowed through a cellblock, under two buildings that housed inmates and beyond a prison wall topped with watchtowers. Only three prisoners had been captured by afternoon, police said, but the hunt continued. A police officer in Joao Pessoa in Paraiba state said the breakout was the largest in the state's history. At the time of the escape, the prison housed 700 inmates. Prison officials could not be reached for comment and police said they did not know if the prison was overcrowded, as is often the case in Brazil. Overcrowding and inhuman conditions inside the jails often lead to escape attempts.