British Virgin Islands Sept 11 2007 More than 100 inmates are believed have escaped a prison on the British Virgin Islands after the building was blown open by Hurricane Irma.
As many as 120 prisoners may have fled the ‘partially destroyed’ site on the island of Tortola as the storm wreaked another day of devastation on the Caribbean, sources told Sky News.
One British Virgin Islands resident, Paul Exner, who is president of expedition firm Modern Geographic Sailing, said that the inmates were initially kept back by armed guard but were ‘let go’.
Police officers based in the UK are being sent to the country’s overseas territory to aid with the response
A statement released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: ‘Following official requests made through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British police officers will be providing support to the British Virgin Islands Police Force.
‘Two members of the UK police cadre, who offer support to the military in times of international crisis, flew out Friday evening with a further 53 British officers, from 14 police forces, due to depart Brize Norton on Sunday, in cooperation with the MOD.’
Huge stretches of the British Virgin islands were destroyed in the savage storm. Pictured: A boat overturned by the winds +3
Mr Exner explained that there is ‘total devastation all around,’ adding: ‘No infrastructure at all. Island will need food and water soon. We can live in our house for another two weeks as a family.
‘We are gathering spare plywood and and materials to rebuild. No power to house. Hand tools only.
‘Tomorrow we deal with hurricane Jose 90 miles to our north.’
The hurricane has left apocalyptic scenes behind it in the Caribbean, killing 24 so far, and causing enormous levels of destruction in St Martin, Barbuda and others.