Ukrainian mother digs 10-metre tunnel to break son out of prison

The tunnel near the Ukrainian prison.
The tunnel near the Ukrainian prison. Photo credit: TCH

A Ukrainian woman has been arrested after digging a 10-metre-long tunnel in an attempt to break her son out of prison.

According to local media, the 51-year-old mother bought a house in the Zaporizhia region, around the corner from the prison where her son is serving a life sentence for murder.

She would only come out at night to avoid being seen and identified by neighbours.

The woman rode a silent electric scooter into the woods and dug the tunnel over three weeks.

A firefighter told news outlet TCH, the woman would move soil using an improvised trolley and would hide it in an abandoned garage nearby. 

"There was a special small cart made of plywood with small wheels that she lay down and drove there. Seventy centimetres," he said.

The mother was able to move 2700kg of soil creating a tunnel 3 metres deep and 10 metres long. 

TCH reported when her plan was discovered and she was arrested, the tunnel had almost reached the prison walls.

Many local residents were reportedly impressed with the woman's efforts.

"This mother prepared thoroughly. Perhaps she is a miner's daughter. To dig three meters deep would be hard enough. She had no excavator or anything of the kind," local resident Serhey Pilnyansky said.

The underground passage is now being filled in while the investigation continues.