KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud today confirmed 528 detainees had broken out of a temporary detention centre in Sungai Bakap, Penang earlier this morning.

He said the incident happened at 4.30am when the detainees, who are all Rohingya, broke the grille and door to a block in the detention centre.

“As of 10am, 362 detainees have been recaptured,” he said in a statement.

Khairul said the authorities are actively looking for the remaining detainees with the help of the police, the Malaysian Volunteer Corps, and members of the public.

He urged those with information should contact Immigration authorities or the police.

Penang police chief Commissioner Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain confirmed separately that six of the 528 detainees who escaped died while attempting to cross the North South Expressway, national news agency Bernama reported.

It is unclear if the six who died were counted as among the 362 detainees retrieved.

Several news portals had reported on the detention centre breakout earlier this morning.

The Star initially reported the incident happening in Kedah before correcting it to Penang later.

In its update, The Star reported that the escapees were undocumented migrants.

In its first report, The Star reported that the detainees were Rohingya who had been rounded up by various agencies during operations in Langkawi, Kedah.