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40 high-risk prisoners escaped in British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma, according to Cabinet notes

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 12/09/2017 By Helena Horton
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Forty prisoners escaped and were on the loose in the British Virgin Islands during Hurricane Irma, according to Cabinet notes spotted by a photographer.

These notes, accidentally leaked to the press, say: "We are working with St Lucia and BVI authorities to secure the transfer to St Lucia of 40 high-risk prisoners that have escaped in BVI".

One British expat claimed a prison was blown open on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, which she managed to escape before Irma unleashed destruction.

Handout photo: British troops and police have been deployed to restore law and order © PA Handout photo: British troops and police have been deployed to restore law and order

She claims her partner carries a knife for safety due to the looting.

Her marine engineer partner Leo Whitting, 38, stayed behind - but after seeing images of the awesome power of the storm Ms Knight said she thought he had died.

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She told the Press Association: "I honestly thought he was dead. Before I was making jokes like 'make sure you park my car', it was quite light-hearted because we didn't know the storm was going to be that bad.

"The military is everywhere with machine guns. Everyone's turned feral and no-one's going out without being armed.

"You can't drive your car without a weapon, it's turning really nasty. Leo carries a knife with him."

Video: Hurricane Irma leaves 1 million Georgia residents without electricity (Fox News)

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British soldiers and police officers have been sent to the British Virgin Islands to prevent lawlessness and looting and restore order.

Trapped British tourists have complained of dangerous looters who have made the resorts they are trapped in terrifying and almost uninhabitable as crime swept the islands following Irma.

Meanwhile , Boris Johnson hopes to help placate worried British holidaymakers as he travels to the battered Caribbean following criticism of the Foreign Office, which relatives of those stranded called "callous" after they claimed family members were left starving, scared and alone.

The Foreign Secretary said there had been an "unprecedented" effort to deal with the aftermath of the storm.

He said: "This is a very big consular crisis and I am confident we are doing everything we possibly can to help British nationals."

Slideshow - Hurricane Irma: A trail of devastation (GES) 

A man battles through wind gusts while out walking during Hurricane Irma which had been downgraded to a tropical storm in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell In photos: Hurricane Irma

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