Authorities in Coahuila state said the 132 inmates fled the prison in Piedras Negras, a city across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, through a tunnel that was 21ft (6.4m) long and 4ft (1.2m) in diameter, then cut their way through a chain link barrier and escaped onto a neighboring property. The tunnel had been there for months.

Coahuila Attorney General Homero Ramos Gloria said in a press release that the director and two other employees of the state prison have been detained for an investigation into the escape and are being questioned about possible involvement by authorities at the penitentiary. The prison houses about 730 inmates and the escape represented almost a fifth of its population.