Prisoners cut through fences and took a jail commander hostage in a mass breakout north-east of Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby, police said on Thursday.
A group of 73 inmates escaped Buimo prison in the city of Lae, using the prison chief and a warden to shield themselves from armed guards as they forced their way through fences late Wednesday, PNG police said.
Two were almost immediately recaptured and another was shot dead, said Superintendent Nema Mondiai. "As long as these people are in the community they're going to create havoc, they're going to create problems," Mondiai told Australian public broadcaster ABC.
It is the second time in three months prisoners have escaped from a PNG jail.
There was a breakout of 54 inmates near Port Moresby in September after wardens failed to show up for work and police were busy guarding a rugby match.