14 March 2008: Doing it in style

If you're going to break out of prison, you might as well do it properly.

Police in Chile this week discovered a tunnel intended to get prisoners out of the Colina II jail, but it wasn't the sort of cramped, claustrophobic and dangerous structure you see in the movies.

The 230-foot long tunnel resembled an underground mine structure, built with cement and wooden beams, with electrical power, carts for hauling away dirt and rock, and nearly high enough in some places for an adult to stand upright.

Police said the wives of two prison inmates had hired four experienced miners to build the escape tunnel, which led from a nearby house toward the facility and was less than 100 feet short of the prison when it was discovered.

Police heard about the tunnel while monitoring prisoners' telephone conversations as part of an investigation into drug trafficking.