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Cape Town – Police and Correctional Services have launched a manhunt after six prisoners escaped from Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town late on Sunday night.

"A total of six inmates escaped from the B5 unit of Pollsmoor’ Medium B section around 23h00 last night," Correctional Services' Simphiwe Xako said. 

"It is believed that the six escaped after removing bars with a piece of metal obtained by breaking one of the beds," Xako said.

One of the escaped inmates is serving a 12-year sentence for attempted murder, whilst the rest are sentenced for petty crimes.

"All six are still at large and members of the Emergency Support Team from Correctional Services working closely with the SAPS are hot on their heels and will ensure that they are brought back to book."

The Department of Correctional Services said it had initiated an internal investigation into the incident.  

Members are of public are urged not to try to engage the six, but rather report to the nearest police station, Xako said.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut confirmed that the circumstances surrounding the escape were being investigated.