icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Prison break plot thwarted after 20-meter tunnel discovered in Australian detention center, reportedly dug using parts of fridge

Prison break plot thwarted after 20-meter tunnel discovered in Australian detention center, reportedly dug using parts of fridge
Authorities have discovered an underground escape tunnel at an immigration detention facility in Western Australia. Media reports that the 20-meter-long tunnel was dug using makeshift tools.

Guards at the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre in Western Australia discovered the tunnel on Monday. It was up to 20 meters long and had been dug with makeshift tools beneath one of the rooms by a Polish detainee, according to Australian media reports quoting sources inside the facility. 

The Australian Border Force confirmed the attempted escape, describing the tunnel as a “partially dug hole.” It said all detainees were accounted for and the matter had been referred to the Australian Federal Police.

The tunnel “was quite well advanced,” Australia’s broadcaster ABC said, quoting refugee advocates. “They'd been doing quite a good job over a number of months. It was about three meters deep... it was already past the two inner fences. Another five meters would have got them beyond the outer perimeter fence. It has been quite a thorough job," said Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition.

Detainees reportedly spent five months digging the tunnel, the entrance to which was hidden beneath a chest of drawers in one of the rooms, CNN reports, citing a source within the country's immigration system. 

CNN also said that the detainees used whatever utensils they could get their hands on, including parts of a fridge and a wooden drawer. They worked when guards weren't looking, by the light of their mobile phones and candles.

Also on rt.com ‘Trying to keep Australians safe’: Canberra enforces and defends travel ban CRIMINALIZING return of its own citizens from India

Refugee activists say there have been several escapes over the fence at Yongah Hill but this was the first tunnel. Several Vietnamese nationals fled the facility after scaling the fence in 2013.

It hasn’t yet been officially confirmed whether one detainee or a group were behind the escape plan.

There are around 320 detainees currently held at Yongah Hill, among them 80 asylum seekers who arrived illegally, around 170 non-citizens who have had their visas cancelled on character grounds, including for committing a serious crime, and those detained for other border violations who are awaiting removal from Australia. 

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts