Asuncion: In an incident which seems straight out of Hollywood movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, at least 75 inmates, including members of Brazil’s most powerful gang, escaped from a Paraguayan prison on Sunday after digging a tunnel.

Officials said they discovered a tunnel and found cells filled with as many as 200 bags of earth. Soon after they escaped, authorities immediately fired the prison’s director along with six other prison officials.

“It’s an operation that took days and it is impossible that the officials did not realize that they were leaving… obviously this was a paid plan,” Paraguay’s Minister of Justice Cecilia Perez said.

Describing the escape, Perez said that the inmates had dug a tunnel “like we see in the movies, complete with internal lighting”.

Most of the escaped prisoners belong to a criminal gang known as First Capital Command, one of Brazil’s most powerful gangs. Post the escape, the government said it alerted Brazil’s federal police, but the prisoners are believed to still be in Paraguayan territory.

“In that area, there are many woods and they know the territory … these are highly dangerous people,” Paraguayan Attorney-General Sandra Quinonez said.

‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.