Fourteen inmates broke out of the Yakima County Jail in Washington state late Monday–the largest escape from the jail since 2005. Officials say they were afraid that the coronavirus was spreading through the jail annex, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports. The inmates used a table inside the annex to break open an exterior fire door, then climbed a fence to escape.
Eight of the inmates were quickly re-captured, but as of late Tuesday, six were still on the loose. Prison official Jeremy Welch said there are “zero positive cases” of the virus in the facility, but he believes the prisoners still broke out over fear of catching the disease. Police said the inmates still at large were likely wearing green shirts, imprinted with YCDOC and dark sweatpants. The escapees’ charges include theft, assault, resisting arrest, possession of a firearm, and drug offenses.