Between thirty and forty prisoners escape during a major breakout from the Maze Prison in County Down in which a prison officer lost his life.

The prisoners overpowered staff in a segregated republican block and then hijacked a food lorry. When the lorry was blocked at the main gates, the men produced guns and knives and shots were fired. A prison officer died after being stabbed. The escaped prisoners then got away on foot and hijacked some passing cars. 

A massive security operation began immediately and it is believed that between ten and fifteen prisoners have been recaptured. 

This huge scale escape is a very serious security embarrassment.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 September 1983. The reporter is Póilín Ní Chiaráin.