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Man climbs out window to escape isolation

The man was immediately taken into custody by police.

UPDATE 10.29AM: The minister in charge of managed isolation facilities says the escape of a man from a fourth-floor window is not a failure of security.

Security has been bolstered at a managed isolation facility in Auckland after a man escaped from a fourth floor window by tying sheets together to make a rope.

Security staff discovered the sheets at the Ramada Hotel in Federal St yesterday morning at 8.20am and the man appeared at the front gate at 8.24am.

It is not know how long he had been out but health authorities say the COVID-19 risk is low.

He has had two negative tests after returning from Australia on a deportation flight on 16 September.

The minister in charge of managed isolation facilities, Megan Woods, told Morning Report the escape showed the person was determined.

"There were several sheets that were tied together, the window was forced open and the individual escaped from a fourth-floor window. This was an individual that was very determined to get out.

"This isn't something we anticipated, someone scaling down four stories of a building using tied-together sheets, but as always we are reviewing the situation and any changes that need to be made to make sure this doesn't happen in the future will be made."

She says authorities are still trying to conclude for how long the man was out of the facility.

"At 8.20am it was found yesterday morning that the sheets were dangling from the fourth-floor window, obviously questioning of the individual has been taking place, review of CCTV footage both of the hotel and the area has been reviewed.

"What we have been able to ascertain is it doesn't seem he has visited any businesses in the local area, but those investigations are ongoing.

Woods says the man is back at the facility.

He is on day 12 of his stay and has yet to complete the balance of his isolation stay.

"I understand he is being held again on the fourth floor but there's been someone stationed outside the window."

"Forcing open a window and scaling down four stories of a building with tied-together sheets, I don't think is a failure of security when what we're talking about is quarantine and isolation facilities in a hotel. Bear in mind this is not a prison."

-RNZ

EARLIER

A man deported from Australia is believed to have tied sheets together to abscond from the fourth floor of a managed isolation facility on Monday morning.

Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, says an investigation is underway following the incident at the Ramada Federal Street managed isolation facility.

Security staff located a number of sheets tied together hanging from a window of a fourth floor room at about 8.20am on Monday, says Webb.

Initial indications is that the man used them to escape.

A few minutes later, while the matter was being investigated, the man appeared at the front gate.

"He was immediately taken into custody by police and he currently remains at the facility under questioning. So far, we have been unable to establish what time the man absconded the facility."

Webb says police enquiries are underway, including a review of CCTV footage to establish the man's movements outside the facility.

Security had been reviewed and immediate improvements made, says Webb.

Health officials say the public health risk has been assessed as low.

The man returned from Australia on a deportation flight on September 16, and tested negative following his day 3 and day 12 tests. He is on day 12 of his stay.

Officials say he had been asymptomatic throughout his stay.

While his movements are still being determined, officials had so far not established any businesses or properties entered by the abscondee.

No deportees returning from Australia have tested positive for COVID-19.

There have been over 55,000 people through managed isolation and quarantine and only nine incidents involving 13 people absconding from managed isolation.

Webb says these incidents were rare and treated "extremely seriously".

-RNZ

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3 Comments
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Hapukafin

Posted on 29-09-2020 13:00 | By

Thanks, that made me chuckle. Home sweet home.

Start Again

Posted on 29-09-2020 11:21 | By

He should be made to pay for the 12 days and begin isolation again. Unfortunately hapukafin, if he’s been deported to NZ this probably is home so the only place we can send him back to is, the 4th floor but with thinner, worn sheets.

send him home

Posted on 29-09-2020 09:24 | By hapukafin

Why are we keeping him here and paying for his isolation.Send him back to where came from.