Escaping from prison is no easy task – so it’s no surprise that the country’s been gripped by news that someone managed to flee from a London jail this week.
Daniel Abed Khalife allegedly escaped from a Wandsworth prison, in the UK, via a prison kitchen by strapping himself to the underside of a food delivery van, and holding onto the bottom of the vehicle.
The former soldier was awaiting trial after being accused of leaving fake bombs at a military base when he broke free while wearing a prison chef’s uniform.
That may sound mad, but it’s far from the only surprising prison break to make headline in recent history – there’s been five since 2017 in the UK.
But this obviously happens everywhere around the world. Only in the last 24 hours, convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante escaped from a Pennsylvania prison after he “crab walked” up two walls.
Here’s a look at some of the most surprising prison escapes to make headlines in recent years, (in no particular order).
1. El Chapo’s prison breaks in 2001 and 2015
A Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo, escaped from a Mexican prison twice while he was heading up the Sinaloa Cartel.
He first bribed guards at a maximum security federal prison in 2001, and left the jail in a dirty laundry trolley once a guard opened his cell door.
He was captured again in 2014 once he was found hiding in tunnels – but a year later, he escaped prison again through an underground tunnel system which was reportedly complete with a motorcycle.
He was arrested again in 2016 and extradited to the US in 2017 – but in August of this year, officials feared he was going to attempt to break out yet again after he sent a letter to a US judge.
He is currently under permanent lockdown for 23 hours a day.
2. 480 Taliban insurgents escaped back in 2011
At least 480 prisoners escaped from Kandahar’s prison in Afghanistan back in 2011. They used 18 insurgents on the outside to dig for five months hundreds of metres under the city and into the prison.
They even sold the earth from the tunnel – stretching a reported 320 metres – in the local bazaar, and illuminated parts of the tunnel with electric lights and ventilated with fans.
3. IRA escape from Maze Prison in 1983
On September 25 1983, 38 inmates at a prison in Northern Ireland escaped, having been convicted of violent offences related to the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
They had been held in one of the most secure prisons in Europe, which was thought to be escape-proof.
But, in 1983, the group managed to seize their block through guns smuggling into the establishment, eventually seizing a food delivery truck.
The driver was forced to drive out of the building while one of the inmates laid in the passenger footwell with a gun directed at him.
Only a few (19 in total) of the group were caught a few days later, although some others were extradited. Those who evaded captured were eventually awarded amnesties.
4. Ted Bundy escaped from custody in 1977
When he was unshackled at a courthouse, the serial killer – as he had chosen to represent himself in the case – asked to do some research in the courthouse library during a break.
He took the chance to jump from the courthouse’s second story window and tried to run.
He was on the run for six days before capture.
Bundy plotted his next escape while he was behind bars, beginning with a plan to lose weight. He escaped again a few months later, by arranging objects in his bed to make it look like he was asleep, and squeezing through a light fixture hole he had curved in the ceiling.
He made it to a flat above the prison, dressing in street clothes and walking free.
He killed more people before he was caught again in February, 1978. He was sentenced to two death penalties and executed in 1989.
5. British prisoners of war escape in 1944
Known as the Great Escape, this is arguably one of the most famous prison breaks in history.
Three tunnels – nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry – were built under the prison of war camp Stalag Luft III between 1943 and 1944, on Squadron Leader Roger Bushell’s command.
More than 600 prisoners joined in with digging the tunnels, although the goal was to get 200 to freedom.
Each tunnel was meant to be more than 300ft long, 30ft below the surface, 2 foot square and maintained with pieces of wood from the prisoners’ beds.
But on the night of the escape, the first man out of the tunnel found it came out short of the tree line in a nearby forest.
The escapees were spotted by the Nazis after 77 people exited the tunnel.
Of the 76 initial runaways, 73 were recaptured, and half were executed on Adolf Hitler’s orders.