Brazil Prison Break
Dozens of inmates escaped from a Brazilian prison after an explosion ripped a hole through the external wallYouTube

Brazilian police have recaptured or killed all but one of 40 prisoners that escaped from a prison in Recife after detonating a bomb to blow a hole in the outside wall. Security forces killed two inmates involved in the mass breakout from the Frei Damiao de Bozanno penitentiary in a massive manhunt, during which another 13 fugitives were injured.

A detainee was taken to a hospital but none of the wounded was in a life-threatening condition, local media reported. One prisoner remains at large, while the remaining escapees have been led back to their cells.

The mass jailbreak that brought panic to the streets of Recife on 23 January was captured on camera. Security footage shows a man walking up to the wall and leaving a package minutes before a blast rips through the prison wall, sending a cloud of dust and debris shooting into the air.

Moments later, dozens of detainees in plain clothes are seen scrambling out on to the streets. Some sought refuge breaking into nearby houses, including one of those who were later shot dead by police.

In another clip purportedly showing the inside of the wall, a crowd of prisoners is seen rushing to climb a barbed wire fence that separates the prison yard from the freshly opened escape route. A flow of people is seen leaping through the hole, but after a few seconds many run back inside possibly because of police intervention.

It was the second mass breakout to hit Recife in a few days. On 20 January 53 inmates fled from the Professor Barreto Campelo detention centre on the outskirts of the coastal city. Authorities have so far recaptured only 13.

The incidents underscored longstanding issues affecting Brazil's prison system, such as poor security and conditions. The Do Curado penitentiary complex, which includes the Frei Damiao de Bozanno prison, is, like many others in the country, largely overcrowded, housing almost 7,000 inmates – more than three times its capacity.