Migrants crawl through ducts to flee detention

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The Independent Online

Four men have escaped from a detention camp by crawling through a network of pipes. The Vietnamese men broke out of the Oakington Immigration Centre in Longstanton, Cambridgeshire, by cutting through razor wire fences after crawling through a metal service duct similar to those used for air conditioning.

Three of the men were awaiting deportation, while the fourth had applied for asylum. A spokesman for the UK Border and Immigration Agency said the men did not pose a threat to the public. The men, who escaped the overnight lock-up between Thursday and Friday last week, were being detained on suspicion of possessing cannabis and possessing forged documents.

The centre, a former RAF base, can hold up to 352 men and opened in 2000. The border agency spokesman said: "We are working to recapture four detainees. This is an ongoing operation so we cannot comment further."