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Prison Escape Attempt Thwarted

Officials at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater, Minn. found the beginnings of a tunnel Wednesday in the basement of one of the facility’s buildings, reported Minnesota Public Radio.

The tunnel, which was discovered during a routine security check, was being dug in an area that is used for inventory and storage and is without surveillance cameras. The tunnel was 50 to 60 feet from the facility’s perimeter wall and “large enough for someone to actually enter,? reported the Star Tribune.

Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian said the tunnel was “well-hidden and sophisticated,? but she applauded the prison staff for stopping the escape attempt. She also wanted to assure the public that all inmates were accounted for and the community was in no danger.

The high-security facility, home to 1,400 inmates, has had various escape attempts since it opened in 1914, but an inmate has not successfully escaped since 1982. In that case, two inmates hid in cardboard boxes that were loaded onto a mail truck.

This was, however, the first time someone attempted to tunnel out of the prison, said the Stillwater Gazette.