A judicial official said Thursday that police are questioning the driver about the escape in the Brittany city of Brest.
French police are searching for the inmate, a 21-year-old man jailed for theft but also on a watch list for religious radicalism. The Justice Ministry said he was en route to an emergency eye exam Wednesday when he violently escaped from three prison employees.
The ministry said the incident shows the need for new rules on transporting prisoners after unions criticized corrections authorities for not assigning an armed police escort.
The escape came days after a man flagged for radicalism stabbed five people in Paris. Thousands are on France's radical watch lists.
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