Extensive ‘escape tunnel’ described in an immigration detention center turns out to be ‘just a tiny hole’ – while the idea of Shawshank Redemption is thrown out the window
- A prisoner in a WA detention center has dug a tunnel under his cell
- Refugee advocacy group said tunnel is 20 meters long and took months to build
- However, officials said on Wednesday that the tunnel is actually only eight feet long
- Escape Attempt is similar to the plot of the 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption
An ‘escape tunnel’ discovered at an immigrant detention center in Western Australia and reminiscent of The Shawshank Redemption was actually just a partially dug hole, authorities claim.
Refugee advocates claimed the tunnel, found at Yongah Hill Detention Center northeast of Perth around 10 a.m. Monday, was 20 meters long and 3 meters high.
They estimated the escape route had cleared two interior fences and extended within 5 meters of the perimeter barrier, the Refugee Action Coalition said Tuesday.
An ‘escape tunnel’ was discovered at the Yongah Hill detention center on Monday at around 10 a.m. (photo)
A refugee advocacy group said the tunnel under a cell was 20 meters long and took the inmate months to build, similar to the plot of The Shawshank Redemption (pictured)
The caper was remarkably similar to the plot of the 1994 Academy Award-nominated film The Shawshank Redemption.
In the film, Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, is falsely convicted of murdering his wife and to life in prison, where he meets and befriends fellow inmate Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, played by Morgan Freeman.
Over the course of nearly two decades, Dufresne formulates a plan to escape by gradually hacking away his cell wall with a small rock hammer and emptying the dirt on the training ground.
According to Refugee Action, an inmate emptied dirt from the tunnel through a hole in his pocket into the yard, as done in another famous prison movie, The Great Escape.
Set in a Nazi POW camp in World War II, the 1963 classic follows the true story of Allied pilots digging a tunnel to escape from under the noses of their captors.
THE SALES PLOT OF SHARIOUS REDEMPTION
The movie was released in 1994 and was made with a budget of $ 25 million.
The plot centers on accountant Andy Dufresne who has been wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover.
He is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Prison, where he meets fellow inmate and smuggler Ellis ‘Red’ Redding.
The film follows his friendship with Red and battles with the staff in prison for nearly two decades.
Towards the end of the film, it is revealed that Andy spent years chopping his cell wall with a small rock hammer and covering the hole with a poster.
He manages to escape through the tunnel he dug and reunites with Red after he is released.
Contrary to both films and the claims of the refugee group, authorities said on Wednesday that the tunnel at the WA facility was only eight feet long and only 60 cm high.
Refugee Action spokesperson Ian Rintoul claimed that the tunnel, which began under cell 6F occupied by a Polish man in his 40s, took months to carve it out.
The man, known as a ‘501’ because it’s part of the Migration Act under which his visa was revoked, also had help – with a cell phone camera on which at least one other man is digging next to him.
Despite disputing the tunnel’s scale, ABF officials have not disclosed what tools were used in the excavation and whether anyone else has been charged.
Mr Rintoul said he was aware that escaping from a detention center was a crime, but doubted whether attempting to escape was also a crime.
“All he’s done is dig a hole,” said Mr. Rintoul.
The story caught the attention of WA Premier Mark McGowan, who also compared the escape attempt to Hollywood movie.
It is absolutely remarkable. It sounds like something from Shawshank Redemption, ”he said.
“I would just tell the Commonwealth to explain what happened, how it was discovered, if any other tunnels were built, who was responsible for that. Those kinds of things the public should know. ‘
WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan (pictured) weighed in on the comment that the Commonwealth, which runs immigration detention centers, must reveal exactly what happened during the incident