Canberra: A juvenile detention facility in Australia has been set ablaze during an attempted mass breakout, police said on Wednesday.
The police deployed tear gas to contain a major disturbance at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre on Tuesday night after inmates who escaped from their cells set the facility’s school on fire, reports Xinhua news agency.
Rob Farmer, Northern Territory Police Deputy Superintendent, said that the incident began at 6.45 p.m. on Tuesday after an inmate stole a set of keys from a staff member and used them to release 24 fellow detainees.
The inmates were able to access accelerants that they used to start the fire as well as power tools that were used to cut through the exterior fence.
“The youths had access to power tools from the workshop and some were making attempts to cut fences using grinders,” Farmer told reporters on Wednesday.
“(They) were also throwing batteries and other items at police around the perimeter fence.
The disturbance was resolved by 3 a.m. with 12 of the detainees taken into police custody.
The Northern Territory government has agreed to close Don Dale after a Royal Commission into protection and detention of children uncovered evidence of “shocking and systemic failures” within the facility.