Lae City Metropolitan Superintendent Commander, Anthony Wagambie Jnr, said a mass breakout was planned today, however only 15 prisoners attempted it.
He said the incident happened this morning during visiting hours.
A group of prisoners attacked and stabbed the prison guard and pushed their way to the second gate where they jumped over into the Administration area of the Correctional Services.
On their route to escape, they ran straight into the Lae Police’s Sector Response Unit who had received a tip off and were driving to Buimo with the aim of patrolling the outskirts of the prison area.
Armed with sharp objects, the prisoners were caught by surprise and started hurling sticks and stones at the police.
Police open fired and chased the men, killing three instantly while a fourth died from loss of blood.
Two have been wounded.
Police reinforcement arrived 10 minutes later and blocked off most of the possible escape routes, however 9 prisoners managed to get away.
After seeing the quick response by police, others refrained from escaping.
From the 15, 8 have been convicted and are serving time, while the others are remandees.
The Public in Lae city can inform the police through the Toll Free number 7090 3300.