Over 100 drug addicts escape rehab center in southern Vietnam, again

By Phuoc Tuan   November 6, 2016 | 05:42 pm GMT+7
Over 100 drug addicts escape rehab center in southern Vietnam, again
Broken bricks, plastic bottles and cans are seen all over the premises of the drug rehabilitation center in Dong Nai Province after more than 100 inmates staged an escape on November 6, 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

Two weeks ago, over 500 drug addicts staged a massive breakout at the same center.

133 inmates broke out of a drug rehabilitation center in the southern province of Dong Nai on Sunday.

“The situation is tense. Dozens of drug addicts have managed to escape from the center,” said Ho Van Loc, deputy director of Dong Nai Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. "Police officers have been deployed to stabilize the situation."

So far, 61 inmates have been returned to the center, which sits about 100km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

By Sunday afternoon, center staff had managed to extinguish a number of fires set by the escapees as a squad of 200 policemen descended on the premises. 

Trouble began at 10:00 a.m. when the inmates began screaming, smashing through walls and breaking down doors so they could gather on the facility's football pitch.

Next, they began pouring onto National Higway 1A.

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Outside the rehabilitation center after the inmates staged a massive breakout on November 6, 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

Inmates set curtains in the rehabilitation center to cause chaos and incite others to escape as well, according to the rehabs security staff. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

Inmates set curtains in the rehabilitation center on fire to cause chaos and incite others to escape as well, according to the rehab's security staff. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

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Hundreds of policemen are out to return the inmates back to the rehab center. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan

On October 23, more than 500 drug addicts staged a massive breakout from the same center. Most were arrested and returned to the facility.

The Dong Nai center currently houses nearly 1,500 inmates -- twice its designed capacity.

Several large escapes have been reported across Vietnam in recent years, following a government order to increase the period of mandatory rehabilitation from one to two years.

Vietnam currently has around 180,000 addicts, many of whom are intravenous drug users.

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