Haitian authorities launch manhunt for 174 escaped inmates

The majority of inmates at a Haitian prison escaped on Saturday after killing a guard and stealing weapons, authorities said as they launched a manhunt for the 174 fugitives.

Police set up checkpoints on roads leading from the prison, and detained some people without identity cards.

The 266 inmates of Arcahaie prison do not wear uniforms, making it easy for them to mix with the general population.

Eleven inmates were caught during the break out, during which inmates broke into an area used by the guards, stealing at least five rifles among other weapons.

One guard was shot dead.

Prisoners left behind their shoes during the escape. Credit: APTN

The Minister of Justice, Camille Edouard Junior, said one prisoner died after falling off a wall during the escape.

"One guard was killed during the incident," Edouard Junior told Reuters. "Three prisoners were wounded, including one who died as a consequence of his wounds."

The US embassy in Haiti issued a security warning to citizens about a "violent prison break", urging people to avoid the area.