ST. LUCIA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS — More than 100 prisoners classified as “high risk” escaped the British Virgin Islands during Hurricane Irma and around 40 are still on the run, according to a government document that was accidentally leaked to the press.
The British Cabinet briefing paper, which was spotted by a photographer, read:
“We are working with St. Lucia and BVI authorities to secure the transfer to St Lucia of 40 high-risk prisoners that have escaped in BVI“.
British junior foreign minister Alan Duncan told parliament that, following “a serious threat of a complete breakdown of law and order in the British Virgin islands” the prison had been breached and “over 100 very serious prisoners escaped.”
This follows reports that British soldiers and police officers have been sent to the British Virgin Islands to prevent lawlessness and restore order.
On the island of Tortola, there have been widespread reports of looting after inmates broke out of a jail amid chaos during the 185mph storm.
Trapped tourists have told reporters that they are stuck in horrifying conditions and have been forced to arm themselves with weapons in order to fight lawless groups that are terrorizing the island.
As the hurricane devastated the island, exhausted tourists are being evacuated from the Dutch-French island of St. Martin.
Starving residents on the island have reportedly resorted to fighting each other for food, and some are arming themselves with machetes.
Tourists desperate to escape the island have been lining up outside the Princess Juliana Airport, which was left in ruins in the storm.
Troops armed with machine guns are everywhere. One soldier told reporters that he was stopping attempted lootings every 10 minutes.
Shelter also is a growing concern for many residents, who are spending sleepless nights worried about looters roaming the streets. Ruined boats and cars can be seen on the roads.
One resident told reporters that the devastation was worse that a Hollywood disaster movie — and happened “on a Biblical scale.”
Main photo: Thieves loot stores in the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma [DailyMail.com (screenshot)]