Five prisoners escaped from the Buxar central jail in Bihar on Saturday, police said.
Jail administration sources said the prisoners -- Sonu Singh (Buxar), Sonu Pandey (Ara), Upendra Sah (Ara), Deodhari Rai (Saran) and Pradip Singh (Motihari) -- broke out of the jail using bed sheets as ropes.
The escaped inmates -- all of whom were serving rigorous imprisonment -- had feigned illness to get themselves admitted to medical ward before attempting the jailbreak.
The Bihar government has issued high alert and cordoned off the area. Search is on to locate the absconding prisoners but no progress has been reported.
Preliminary investigation suggests insiders may be involved in facilitating the jailbreak. The Buxar district magistrate and superintendent of police reached the spot immediately after the incident.
Buxar SP Upendra Kumar Sharma said one of the prisoners was accused of rape, while another was serving life sentence.
The incident took place two days after the Buxar district administration conducted a search and recovered objectionable items.
This is the third major incident of escape from a central jail in 2016.
In October, eight SIMI activists escaped from the Bhopal central jail and Khalistan Liberation Front terrorist Harminder Singh escaped from a Punjab jail in November this year.