August 14: A riot at the Metropolitan Remand Centre at Ravenhall in Melbourne’s outer west on Sunday afternoon has left a damage bill expected to top $1 million.
The riot erupted just after lunch when five inmates used mattresses to scale the barbed wire fence of the exercise yard to leap into an area known as “No Man’s Land”.
There they spent more than two hours destroying expensive security equipment and hurling hundreds of rocks into the prison. They smashed every accommodation unit window they could see from the estimated 1km stretch of the jail’s perimeter.
Heavily armoured officers used tear gas, rubber bullets and dogs as they battled to regain control during the attempted jailbreak.
During the chaos an inmate was taken hostage and another man was bashed.
One prison officer described it as a “bloodbath”. “The rocks are about as big as your fist and make a terrific weapon as wellIt was absolute chaos and they frightened the hell out of visitors. It’s just amazing no one was killed . . . the prisoners were armed with knives.”
The Albion and Atwood units, where the prisoners had come from, remained in lockdown last night.An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said paramedics were called at 7pm to treat a prisoner who had been assaulted.
He was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital where he was in a stable condition.
It is believed several prison officers were also treated at hospital.