Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

By Phuoc Tuan, Xuan Thang   April 15, 2016 | 08:09 am GMT+7
After destroying the rehab's cement wall, over 400 patients escaped by climbing over two 1.5 meter barbed wire fences using blankets.
Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

The Labor Education and Vocational Training Center is located in Ba Ria Vung Tau province, southern Vietnam. The rehab center houses over 600 patients. It is protected by two rows of 3 meter high walls covered in zinc at the top. On the outside, it is surrounded by two 1.5 meter barbed wire fences.

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

Around 8:30pm on April 13, some patients started to argue and fight. When security guards and the rehab’s officers opened the door to break up the fight, the patients overwhelmed them and took the keys to break free. Many threw bricks and stones at the guards. 

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

As the guards were outnumbered, 400 patients destroyed doors, walls and the main gate to escape. “We used pepper spray to control the situation but it wasn't enough,” said one of the guards.

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

In order to escape from the 10,000 m2 center, the patients used blankets to climb over two 1.5m barbed wire fences. 

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

An escapee’s flip flop left behind on the barbed wire

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

Some patients also escaped through the front entrance next to the main gate. According to a top official, the escapees were drug users recently transferred to the center awaiting the court’s verdict on whether they should be subject to compulsory detoxification. 

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

A pole left behind by patients escaping the center. 

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

This morning, Ba Ria Vung Tau police arrived at the scene. Hundreds of police officers were mobilized to secure the area and return patients to the rehab center. 

Drug users stage massive breakout from rehab center

According to a top official from Ba Ria Vung Tau's Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, over 150 patients of the 447 who escaped have been returned to the center. “We didn’t resort to force but called their families to convince them to return them to the center,” the official said. 

 
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