The prison riot in Buriram which led to many inmates escaping this morning may have begun over rumors of a covid-19 outbreak in the jail.
So far, 7 prisoners have been recaptured, but many are still at large in the region. Police have set up checkpoints in the area to try and apprehend the missing inmates.
Many of the people involved were facing a life sentence and it is thought that they spread a rumor about coronavirus being present in the prison to try and create a riot situation among other inmates.
Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsutin said:
“The fact is that none of the prisoners in Buri Ram were infected [with the coronavirus] — they only started this rumor to find some supporters.”
Inside the prison, the dining hall was set on fire with smoke billowing out and viewable from many kilometers away. The visiting room was also demolished.
The prison had been closed to visitors under the state of emergency decree announced by the government a few days ago.
Source: Bangkok Post