September 11, 2003 - Posted at: 3:44 p.m. CDT
LUXORA, Ark. -- Two escapees from the Mississippi County jail may have had an accomplice: Mother Nature.
Sheriff Leroy Meadows says a recent lightning strike caused havoc with circuits that control interior jail doors and may have contributed to the escape. At times since the lightning strike, some of the doors have accidently popped open.
The two men who escaped had been in jail more than a year and, according to the sheriff, probably know more about jail operations than some of the jailers. Meadows also told a county committee that the inmates were able to get their hands on the only pass key that would open all interior doors, and that that is under investigation.
The two escapees were captured a short time later.
Meadows said the full investigation into the incident should be completed later this week. Meadows said he is in the process of assessing the full damage caused by the lightning strike.